Climate change and abiotic stress challenges in crops are threatening world food production. Among others, salinity affects the agricultural sector by significantly impacting yield losses. Plant biostimulants have received increasing attention in the agricultural industry due to their ability to improve health and resilience in crops. The main driving force of these products lies in their ability to modulate plant metabolic processes involved in the stress response. This study’s purpose was to investigate the effect of two biostimulant products, including a protein hydrolysate (Clever HX®) and a seaweed extract with high amino acids content (Ascovip®), and their combination, on the metabolomics profile of tomato crops grown under salt stress (150 mM NaCl). Several stress indicators (leaf relative water content, membrane stability index, and photosynthesis activity) and leaf mineral composition after salinity stress exposure were assessed to evaluate stress mitigation, together with growth parameters (shoot and root biomasses). After that, an untargeted metabolomics approach was used to investigate the mechanism of action of the biostimulants and their link with the increased resilience to stress. The application of the biostimulants used reduced the detrimental effect of salinity. In saline conditions, protein hydrolysate improved shoot dry weight while seaweed extracts improved root dry weight. Regarding stress indicators, the application of the protein hydrolysate was found to alleviate the membrane damage caused by salinity stress compared to untreated plants. Surprisingly, photosynthetic activity significantly improved after treatment with seaweed extracts, suggesting a close correlation between root development, root water assimilation capacity and photosynthetic activity. Considering the metabolic reprogramming after plant biostimulants application, protein hydrolysates and their combination with seaweed extracts reported a distinctive metabolic profile modulation, mainly in secondary metabolite, lipids and fatty acids, and phytohormones biosynthetic pathways. However, treatment with seaweed extract reported a similar metabolic reprogramming trend compared to salinity stress. Our findings indicate a different mechanism of action modulated by protein hydrolysate and seaweed extract, suggesting stronger activity as a stress mitigator of protein hydrolysate in tomato crops under salinity stress.

Zhang, L., Freschi, G., Rouphael, Y., De Pascale, S., Lucini, L., The differential modulation of secondary metabolism induced by a protein hydrolysate and a seaweed extract in tomato plants under salinity, <<FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE>>, 2022; 13 (13): N/A-N/A. [doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.1072782] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/232256]

The differential modulation of secondary metabolism induced by a protein hydrolysate and a seaweed extract in tomato plants under salinity

Zhang, Leilei;Lucini, Luigi
2023

Abstract

Climate change and abiotic stress challenges in crops are threatening world food production. Among others, salinity affects the agricultural sector by significantly impacting yield losses. Plant biostimulants have received increasing attention in the agricultural industry due to their ability to improve health and resilience in crops. The main driving force of these products lies in their ability to modulate plant metabolic processes involved in the stress response. This study’s purpose was to investigate the effect of two biostimulant products, including a protein hydrolysate (Clever HX®) and a seaweed extract with high amino acids content (Ascovip®), and their combination, on the metabolomics profile of tomato crops grown under salt stress (150 mM NaCl). Several stress indicators (leaf relative water content, membrane stability index, and photosynthesis activity) and leaf mineral composition after salinity stress exposure were assessed to evaluate stress mitigation, together with growth parameters (shoot and root biomasses). After that, an untargeted metabolomics approach was used to investigate the mechanism of action of the biostimulants and their link with the increased resilience to stress. The application of the biostimulants used reduced the detrimental effect of salinity. In saline conditions, protein hydrolysate improved shoot dry weight while seaweed extracts improved root dry weight. Regarding stress indicators, the application of the protein hydrolysate was found to alleviate the membrane damage caused by salinity stress compared to untreated plants. Surprisingly, photosynthetic activity significantly improved after treatment with seaweed extracts, suggesting a close correlation between root development, root water assimilation capacity and photosynthetic activity. Considering the metabolic reprogramming after plant biostimulants application, protein hydrolysates and their combination with seaweed extracts reported a distinctive metabolic profile modulation, mainly in secondary metabolite, lipids and fatty acids, and phytohormones biosynthetic pathways. However, treatment with seaweed extract reported a similar metabolic reprogramming trend compared to salinity stress. Our findings indicate a different mechanism of action modulated by protein hydrolysate and seaweed extract, suggesting stronger activity as a stress mitigator of protein hydrolysate in tomato crops under salinity stress.
2023
Inglese
Zhang, L., Freschi, G., Rouphael, Y., De Pascale, S., Lucini, L., The differential modulation of secondary metabolism induced by a protein hydrolysate and a seaweed extract in tomato plants under salinity, <<FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE>>, 2022; 13 (13): N/A-N/A. [doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.1072782] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/232256]
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