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Studies on Effect of Seaweed Extracts on Crop Plants and Microbes

Conference Paper

Studies on Effect of Seaweed Extracts on Crop Plants and Microbes

Abstract and Figures

Seaweeds contains considerable amount of micronutrients and some plant growth hormones which helps plant growth and also in germination. When its concentration increases it will lead to toxicity and inhibits plant growth. In this present study, the effect of seaweed extract on plant germination, toxicity and the future perspective of its usage as bio fertilizer are discussed. The seaweed liquid fertilizer was prepared from three seaweeds. Seeds of Abelmoschus esculentus and Solanum lycopersicum were treated with seaweed extracts, which is prepared in the ratio 1:10 W/V. Seaweed extracts at different concentration is used to find out their efficiency on germination of seeds and plant growth inhibiting (toxic) concentration. The seeds treated with different concentration of seaweed extract are monitored for various parameters such as root length, shoot length and number of lateral roots. The results showed increased germination and growth on low concentration, but when the concentration increases, it inhibits the rate of germination due to its toxicity in Solanum lycopersicum. All the three seaweed extract showed better rate of germination at optimum concentration ranges between 40 - 60% in Abelmoschus esculentus and toxicity at higher concentration. Extracts of all the three seaweeds didn’t show any antibacterial activity against five bacterial species. Keywords: Fertilizer, Seaweeds, Germination, Toxicity.
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International Journal of ChemTech Research
CODEN (USA): IJCRGG ISSN : 0974-4290
Vol.6, No.9, pp 4235-4240, September 2014
RTBCE 2014[12th August 2014]
Recent Trends in Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering
Studies on Effect of Seaweed Extracts on Crop Plants and
Microbes
Arun D , Gayathri P. K. *, Chandran M and Yuvaraj D
R&D lab, Department of Biotechnology, Vel Tech High Tech Dr. Rangarajan
Dr. Sakunthala Engineering College,Avadi, Chennai -600 062, India
*Corres.author: k.gayathri @velhightech.com
Abstract: Seaweeds contains considerable amount of micronutrients and some plant growth hormones which
helps plant growth and also in germination. When its concentration increases it will lead to toxicity and inhibits
plant growth. In this present study, the effect of seaweed extract on plant germination, toxicity and the future
perspective of its usage as bio fertilizer are discussed. The seaweed liquid fertilizer was prepared from three
seaweeds. Seeds of Abelmoschus esculentus and Solanum lycopersicum were treated with seaweed extracts,
which is prepared in the ratio 1:10 W/V. Seaweed extracts at different concentration is used to find out their
efficiency on germination of seeds and plant growth inhibiting (toxic) concentration. The seeds treated with
different concentration of seaweed extract are monitored for various parameters such as root length, shoot
length and number of lateral roots. The results showed increased germination and growth on low concentration,
but when the concentration increases, it inhibits the rate of germination due to its toxicity in Solanum
lycopersicum. All the three seaweed extract showed better rate of germination at optimum concentration ranges
between 40 - 60% in Abelmoschus esculentus and toxicity at higher concentration. Extracts of all the three
seaweeds didn’t show any antibacterial activity against five bacterial species.
Keywords: Fertilizer, Seaweeds, Germination, Toxicity.
Introduction
The use of seaweeds as manure in farming practice is very ancient and common practice among the
Romans and also practiced in Britain, France, Spain, Japan and China. The use of marine macro algae as
fertilizer in crop production has a long tradition in coastal areas all over the world 1. Seaweed cast continued to
be so valuable to farmers, even in the early 1900s 2. Seaweed extract is a new generation of natural organic
fertilizers highly nutritious and promotes faster germination of seeds and increase yield and resistant ability of
many crops 3. Seaweeds are rich in micro and macro nutrients 4. Micronutrients are toxic to both plants and
animals in high concentrations. The increased in micro and macronutrient in soil by fertilizers may also have
negative impact on plant growth 5. Too much of Nitrogen will results in excessive foliar growth at the expense
of flowering and fruit production. Phosphorus generally has little or no effect and it may induce micronutrient
deficiencies with extreme excess. Potassium often results in “burning” of leaves around the edges. Calcium
generally associated with high pH, which results inmicronutrient deficiencies. Magnesium may interfere with
Ca uptake. Boron leads to death of interveinal tissues of leaves 6. The toxicity of any seaweed liquid fertilizer
will results in inhibited plant growth and abolishing of native symbiotic and non-symbiotic microorganisms
present in the soil, for improving the fertility of the soil by natural process 7. Hence it is very important to study
the toxic effect of over utilization of fertilizer in agricultural land on crop plant and microorganisms for
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increased production, fertility and continuous natural cycles. This study is to optimize the concentration of
seaweed liquid fertilizer, its effect on plant germination on two different crop plants and its antibacterial
activity against five different bacterial species at different concentration levels.
Materials and Methods:
Collection and Identification of Seaweeds
Fresh seaweeds used in the present study were collected from Pulicat Lake, Tamilnadu, India, during
December 2013. They occur in all seasons. They were hand-picked and washed thoroughly with seawater to
remove all the unwanted impurities, adhering sand particles, epiphytes etc. It is then packed in a plastic bag and
transferred to the lab. In lab the collected seaweeds were again washed in fresh water to remove the surface salt
and then blotted to remove excess water. The seaweeds were segregated and under gone taxonomical
identification, and identified as Gracilaria edulis a red seaweed, Enteromorpha intestinalis and
Chaetomorpha linum Green seaweeds.
Preparation of Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer
Fresh seaweeds were washed thoroughly to remove all epiphytes and sand particles with tap water.
Shade dried for five days and the sample was ground or cut in to pieces. The coarse powder was mixed with
distilled water in ratio of 1:20 (w/v). Boiled for 60 minutes and filtered through four fold of white cloth. The
filtrate was collected and stored. The filtrate thus obtained is considered as 100% 8. Five different
concentrations of solutions such as 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% were prepared and used for the study.
Selection of Test Plants
The test plants, selected for the present study was Abelmoschus esculentus commonly known as Lady
Finger which is a simple dry fruit and Solanum lycopersicum commonly known as Tomato which is a simple
fleshy fruit. The seeds were bought from Seed Works India Private Limited. The seeds with uniform size,
colour and weight were chosen for the experimental purpose.
Effect of Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer on Plant Germination
Seeds of both Abelmoschus esculentus and Solanum lycopersicum were treated with 3 different
seaweed liquid fertilizers as described elsewere 9. Petri plates were sterilized to avoid spoilage of seeds, and
then filter paper was placed to provide support and hold moisture for the germination of seeds. Each plate is
placed with three seeds of Abelmoschus esculentus and Solanum lycopersicum respectively. Five different
concentrations (20, 40, 60, 80, 100) of seaweed liquid fertilizer is poured on each plate with respect to the
seaweed and seeds. The seeds were placed over filter paper and then, these were incubated at room
temperature. The plates were kept separately with 12 hours of dark and 12 hours of light. The seeds were
monitored for germination after three days and the growth of the seedlings were observed after a period of one
week from the day of treatment. After the observation of germination and growth of seedlings in the plate
which were treated with different concentration of liquid fertilizers, various parameters such as number of
leaves, height of the shoot, length of the root, number of lateral roots were measured. A plate with water instead
of liquid fertilizer is kept as control.
Antibacterial Activity of SLF
The antibacterial assay was done by both disc diffusion and Agar well diffusion method in nutrient agar
10. The activities of all the SLF were tested against five bacterial species such as Enterococcus hirae,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acetobacter mofti, Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus.
Results and Discussions
Germination of Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) seeds treated with SLF’s
The (Figure- 1 & 2(graph 1 &2)) is plotted between root length and shoot length of germinated
seedlings at different concentrations and numbers in centimeter. The graph: 1 showed good rate of germination
in okra seeds from 20 to 60 % concentration of G. edulis. At 40 %, it showed increased number of lateral roots
while germination. At 60% concentration all the parameters were good when compared to other concentration.
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The SLF prepared from E. intestinalis did not have considerable effect on the germination of okra seeds. The
graph showed different concentrations of C. linum SLF had gradual increase in all the parameters of okra seeds
from 40% to 80%, but at 20 % it showed no root and shoot development.
Figure 1: Abelmoschus esculentus seeds treated with different concentration of G. edulis (1), E.
intestinalis (2) and C. linum (3) (A) 20% SLF (B) 40% SLF (C) 60 % SLF (D) 80% SLF (E) 100% SLF.
Figure 2: Graphical representation depicting the growth of Abelmoschus esculentus
1A 1B 1C 1D 1E
2A 2B 2C 2D 2E
3A 3B 3C 3D 3E
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Germination of Solanum lycopersicum(Tomato)seeds treated with SLF’s
Figure 3: Solanum lycopersicum treated with different concentration of G. edulis (4), E. intestinalis (5)
and C. linum (6) (A) 20% SLF (B) 40% SLF (C) 60 % SLF (D) 80% SLF (E) 100% SLF
Figure 4: Graphical representation depicting the growth of S. lycopersicum
4A 4B 4C 4D 4E
5A B5B 5C 5D 5E
6A 6B 6C 6D 6E
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(Figure- 3 & 4 (graphs 3 & 4)), showed good results in tomato seeds at 20% concentration of G. edulis
when compared to increase in concentration level. There was a decline in the graph with respect to the increase
in concentration of SLF. It showed germination in seeds up to 40% concentration and no growth found at
higher concentration. At 20% concentration SLF of E. intestinalis showed, there is an increased shoots and root
growth. SLF of C. linum showed some root and growth development. On increasing concentration, root length
was decreased and no other parameters were seen.
C. linum is good for okra seeds at high concentration, but in tomato it is good only at lower
concentration. C. linum, E. intestinalis and G. edulis showed better results at lower concentration in tomato
seeds. On comparing the whole, three seaweed liquid fertilizers on two different seeds showed change in
growth rate and various parameters in germination. In okra seeds E. intestinalis showed increased rate of
germination up to 40%, G. edulis showed increased growth up to 60%, and C. linum showed good rate of
germination up to 80%. But after that suddenly it showed zero rate of germination in next concentration levels.
All the three seaweeds G. edulis, E. intestinalis and C. linum has more toxic effect on tomato plant when
compare to okra, when its concentration increases. They showed good results at lower concentration. Hence
SLF shall be used at very high dilution rate in agricultural field for increased plant germination and growth in
tomato seeds. And for okra seeds SLF shall be used at moderate dilution rate.
3.3. Antibacterial Activity
The extracts were tested against gram positive and gram negative bacteria in agar well diffusion and
disc diffusion method. All the three seaweeds did not showed any effect on growth of both gram positive and
gram negative bacteria. Hence it denoted that, it has no effect on growth of microorganisms at any
concentration level. From this it is concluded that, it is not harmful to the native microorganisms present in the
soil, which helps in enrichment of fertility in the soil without affecting its native helpful bacteria and
microorganism.
The results showed that there is an increase in rate of germination of seeds at lower concentration and it
reduces at higher concentration. Similar results were obtained 7 on Abelmoschus esculentus by 10% SLF of
Sargassum myryocystem. SLF of Dictyota dichotoma was found effective in increasing the growth of roots and
shoots, number of roots at lower level concentration 11. Similar observations were made in Cajanus cajan 8. In
this study lower concentration of seaweeds extracts showed increased germination with respect to their species
and seeds of crop plant. Similar results were obtained by differential response to the seaweed extract treatment
on Cajanus cajan 8. The highest concentrations exhibit lower seed germination and the lowest concentration
showed higher seed germination. Vigna catajung and Dolichos biflorus showed a considerable increase of
amino acid due to SLF of Caulerpa racemosa and Gracilaria edulis 10% level 12,13. The low concentration
(20%) of aqueous seaweed extract promoted seedling growth. The seed germination, shoot length, root length,
number of lateral roots was found maximum at 20% SLF with or without chemical fertilizer 14. Seaweed extract
didn’t inhibit the growth of native microorganisms and inoculated bio fertilizers, Liquid fertilizers derived from
seaweeds are found to be superior to chemical fertilizers.
Conclusion
Seaweed extract which gave better results at lower concentration shall be utilized at very high dilution
rate in agricultural field to enhance the rate of germination of seeds. It will not affect native useful
microorganisms present in soil.
References
1. Fleurence, J. Seaweed proteins: biochemical nutritional aspects and potential uses. Trends in Food
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2. Verkleij, F.N. Seaweed extract in agriculture and horticulture-A review. Biology of Agriculture and
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5. Bennett, W.F. Nutrient Deficiencies and Toxicities in Crop Plants. St. Paul, MN. APS Press. 1993, 202.
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10. Erulan.V, P. Soundarapandian, G. Thirumaran and G. Ananthan, 2009, Studies on the effect of
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12. Anandharaj M and Venkatesalu V, Effects of seaweed liquid fertilizer on Vigna catajung. Seaweed
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14. Thirumaran G, Arumugan M, Arumugam R, Anantharaman P., 2009. Effect of seaweed liquid fertilizer
on growth and pigment concentration of Abelmoschus esculentus (I) Medikus. Am Eurasian J Agron 2:
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