Chitosan in Agriculture has been making waves recently, and for more than one good reason! Check out the abstracts below to understand more about how this inexpensive addition to your company’s product portfolio will increase customer satisfaction, reduce expenses, and drastically reduce the use of unhealthy plant products. Application of minimal percentages (1-2%) via fertigation or foliar spray is a cost-effective prevention technique that should increase yield and nutrient value.
Application of chitosan on plant responses with special reference to abiotic stress: Chitosan is a natural biopolymer modified from chitins which act as a potential biostimulant and elicitor in agriculture. It is non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible which favors potentially broad application. It enhances the physiological response and mitigates the adverse effect of abiotic stresses through stress transduction pathway via secondary messenger(s). Chitosan treatment stimulates photosynthetic rate, stomatal closure through ABA synthesis; enhances antioxidant enzymes via nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide signaling pathways, and induces production of organic acids, sugars, amino acids and other metabolites which are required for the osmotic adjustment, stress signaling, and energy metabolism under stresses. It is also known to form complexes with heavy metals and used as tool for phytoremediation and bioremediation of soil. Besides, this is used as anti-transpiring compound through foliar application in many plants thus reducing water use and ensures protection from other negative effects. Based on such beneficial properties, chitosan is utilized in sustainable agricultural practices owing to changing climates. Our review gathers the recent information on chitosan centered upon the abiotic stress responses which could be useful in future crop improvement programs.
Poor Growth: The way in which chitosan works is to trigger the plants natural immune response. The plant interprets chitosan as an attacking pest, as crop destroying insects are also made out of chitin. A natural plant response to a perceived attack is to generate plant hormones and defense compounds. If the attack is only perceived and not real, the crops are able to harness the power of the Systemic Activation Response (SAR) and generate growth and plant vigor. RE-activating the SAR Response biweekly will keep the juices flowing!
Transpiration and Irrigation Issues: In the Spring, too much moisture can create the ideal conditions for fungal and pathogen issues. Chitosan protects crops from contracting these types of issues. Later in the season, as we face wind and dry conditions, chitosan application will actually close the stomata of the plant, decreasing the affects of drought conditions. And later, when frost comes, chitosan will mitigate the negative impact and create a higher tolerance level to the frost.
Chitosan for Eco-friendly Control of Plant Disease: In the past few decades, chitosan and its derivatives-based pesticides are gaining more attention because of their non-toxic, biodegradable, biocompatible and eco-friendly nature. Chitosan and its derivatives have been repeatedly shown very impressive results as bio-pesticide against many pests of agricultural importance which is comparable to those achieved with current synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Chitosan is considered as the most abundant natural polymer with a dual effect: It controls pathogenic microorganisms by preventing growth, sporulation, spore viability, germination and disrupting cell and inducement of different defense responses in host plant inducing and/or inhibiting different biochemical activities during the plant-pathogen interaction. The plant can also acquire enhanced tolerance to the stressful growing environment after application of chitosan and oligochitosan. Along with these, the stimulating effect of chitosan on beneficial microorganism lead this natural product to incorporate in to the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies.