Reducing Nitrogen Input in Barley Crops While Maintaining Yields Using an Engineered Biostimulant Derived From Ascophyllum nodosum to Enhance Nitrogen Use Efficiency
The Plant Biostimulant Group from Shannon ABC, MTU-Kerry and the R&D department from Brandon Bioscience have recently published an article with Frontiers in Plant Science entitled “Reducing Nitrogen Input in Barley Crops While Maintaining Yields Using an Engineered Biostimulant Derived From Ascophyllum nodosum to Enhance Nitrogen Use Efficiency”. This publication has been developed in a project supported partly by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and the Development & Innovation (RD&I) Fund of Enterprise Ireland. To view this article please click here.
The data presented in this study demonstrates that an engineered plant biostimulant, PSI-362, derived from the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum, is capable of increasing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in barley under field conditions. The targeted application of PSI-362 as a coating on a granular nitrogen mineral fertiliser enhanced nitrogen uptake, transport, and assimilation markers at phenotypic, metabolic, enzymatic, and genetic levels in a coordinated manner. A key indicator of biostimulant performance was increased nitrate content in barley shoot tissue 22 days after N fertiliser application (+17.9 to 72.2%), that was associated with gene upregulation of root nitrate transporters (NRT1.1, NRT2.1, and NRT1.5). Simultaneously, PSI-362 coated fertilizer enhanced nitrate reductase and glutamine synthase activities, while higher content of free amino acids, soluble protein and photosynthetic pigments was measured. The efficient uptake and assimilation of more nitrate by the crop when it needs it, results in enhanced NUE derived traits in harvested grain. These results support the agronomic use of this biostimulant with its effect delivered through a defined physiological mode of action that allows up to 27% reduction in nitrogen fertiliser usage while maintaining or increasing crop yield. The magnitude of the nitrogen reduction achieved with PSI-362 without compromising yield suggests it can have a role in delivering the European Union (EU) target of a 20% reduction in nitrogen use in agriculture and be part of the solution for the successful implementation of mitigation policies for water quality and GHG emissions from nitrogen fertiliser usage.
Brandon Bioscience is a research-intensive biotechnology company that focuses on transforming natural raw materials into sustainable agronomic solutions for crop production using the Plant Signal Induction (PSITM) Technology Platform. Brandon has developed a suite of plant biostimulant products used by thousands of growers in more than 36 countries to improve yield & quality of crops.