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liquid seaweed extract

Effect of liquid seaweed extracts on growth of tomato seedlings (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

Abstract

Seaweed extracts are used as nutrient supplements, biostimulants, or biofertilizers in agriculture and horticulture to increase plant growth and yield. In this study, we examined the effect of liquid seaweed extracts (LSEs) made from Ulva lactuca, Caulerpa sertularioides, Padina gymnospora, and Sargassum liebmannii as biostimulants on the germination and growth of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) under laboratory and greenhouse conditions using foliar and soil drench applications of LSEs. We assessed LSEs at different concentrations (0.2, 0.4, and 1.0 %) on germination parameters (percentage, index, mean time, energy, and seedling vigor index) and growth parameters (plumule length, radical length, shoot length, root length, fresh weight, and dry weight) of tomato seedlings. Our results indicate that seeds treated with LSEs of U. lactuca and P. gymnospora at lower concentrations (0.2 %) showed enhanced germination (better response in germination rate associated with lower mean germination time, high germination index and germination energy, and consequently greater seedling vigor and greater plumule and radicle length). Application as a soil drench was found to be more effective in influencing the height of the plant (up to 79 cm) than the foliar spray application (75 cm). Plants receiving LSEs of U. lactuca and P. gymnospora showed increased shoot length, root length, and weight. Furthermore, U. lactuca and P. gymnospora were found to be more successful and better candidates for developing effective biostimulants to improve the growth of tomato plants. This study provides important information on the identification and utilization of Mexican seaweed resources for agriculture and is the first study to report on the uses of these seaweeds as a source of liquid extracts as biostimulants in agriculture.

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Seaweed extracts are used as nutrient supplements, biostimulants, or biofertilizers in agriculture and horticulture to increase plant growth and yield. In ]]>