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SuperFifty Prime protects tomato and pepper from severe oxidative stress – New study in the journal ‘Metabolites’

BioAtlantis tackling oxidative stress, a key hallmark of drought, heat, cold and waterlogging in crops

A recent scientific study has found that pre-treating plants with SuperFifty Prime provides a clear protective effect against oxidative stress (Staykov et al., 2021). This was proven in Arabidopsis as a model plant, and in two crop species, tomato and pepper.

Drought, heat, cold and waterlogging are a major source of economic damage to agriculture, leading what scientists describe as “abiotic stresses”. All plants can handle a certain level of abiotic stress. In extreme cases, they cannot cope and respond by producing high levels of harmful compounds referred to as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Accumulation of ROS gives rise to severe oxidative stress which damages proteins, DNA and plant cells. Severe oxidative stress can ultimately result in crop failure.

In the paper by Staykov et al., 2021, sprayed plants showed almost no damage after being subjected to severe oxidative stress while the untreated group developed substantial lesions. The research was presented in a study entitled, “An Ascophyllum nodosum-Derived Biostimulant Protects Model and Crop Plants from Oxidative Stress”, and published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Metabolites: https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1989/11/1/24

The researchers in the study measured how SuperFifty Prime protected against key stress-related properties such as the number and surface of visibly damaged areas; ROS accumulation in the leaf tissues; cell-membrane integrity and plant photosynthetic parameters. The stressed plants which were not treated with SuperFifty Prime revealed accumulation of amino acids, most probably due to protein degradation and elevation of stress compounds. The untreated groups exhibited severe lesions due to oxidative stress, a key hallmark of abiotic stresses such as drought, heat, cold and salinity. This was completely prevented through prior treatment with SuperFifty Prime. Strikingly, the scientists found that the protection provided by SuperFifty Prime was closely correlated to metabolic and physiological markers in each plant species.

SuperFifty (SF) protects leaves from damage, caused by oxidative stress. Plants on the left are treated with paraquat (PQ), a herbicide that elevates the endogenous levels of ROS and triggers cell death(15 µMforArabidopsisand25 µMfortomatoandpepper) and have clearly visible lesions. Plants on the right were pre-treated with 1% aqueous solution of SF, followed by the same treatment with PQ. Control plants, sprayed only with water (H2O) or only with 1% SF, show no signs of effect (pictures not shown).

Increased Crop Yield

SuperFifty Prime technology has broad implications. Even in well-managed agricultural production systems, crops rarely reach their genetic growth potential and typically only reach 70-75% of their maximum. Treatment with SuperFifty Prime under field conditions across five different crops (tomato, rice, onion, pineapple and wheat) increased yield by 14%. This translates to an increased Return On Sustainable Investmentment (ROSI) for the crop grower.

Climate smart technology

The study demonstrates that SuperFifty Prime technology may be used as a tool to prevent crop yield losses by priming plants to be tolerant to oxidative stress. As such, this product can play a key role in efforts by crop growers to mitigate against the effects of climate change and improve sustainable agricultural practices. SuperFifty®Prime is a natural and sustainable molecular priming technology.

EU Research Project: “RESIST”

The research was conducted as part of the EU “RESIST” Horizon 2020 project (GA No 823746), a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange program, focused on the identification of genetic determinants of desiccation tolerance and how Super Fifty-based stress mitigation technologies can be used effectively to improve crop yield and performance https://resist.cpsbb.eu/

RESIST is a collaboration between BioAtlantis Ltd., Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology; CPSBB (Bulgaria), the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (Germany), University of Potsdam (Germany), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa).

Full citation: Staykov, N.S., Angelov, M., Petrov, V., Minkov, P., Kanojia, A., Guinan, K.J., Alseekh, S., Fernie, A.R., Sujeeth, N. and Gechev, T.S., 2021. An Ascophyllum nodosum-derived biostimulant protects model and crop plants from oxidative stress. Metabolites11(1), p.24. https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1989/11/1/24