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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.02261

Evaluation of a biostimulant (Pepton) based in enzymatic hydrolyzed animal protein in comparison to seaweed extracts on root development, vegetative growth, flowering and yield of gold cherry tomatoes grown under low stress ambient field conditions

 Javier Polo1* and Pedro Mata-Zayas2
  • 1R&D Department, APC Europe, S.A., Spain
  • 2Autonomous University of Morelos State, Mexico

The objectives of this experiment were to determine the effects of different application rates of an enzyme hydrolyzed animal protein biostimulant (Pepton) compared to a standard application rate of a biostimulant derived from seaweed extract (Acadian) on plant growth parameters and yield of gold cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Biostimulant treatments were applied starting at 15 days after transplant and every two weeks thereafter for a total of 5 applications. One treatment group received no biostimulant (Control). Three treatment groups (Pepton-2, Pepton-3, Pepton-4) received Pepton at different application rates equivalent to 2, 3 or 4 kg/ha applied by foliar (first 2 applications) and by irrigation (last 3 applications). Another treatment group (Acadian) received Acadian at 1.5 L/ha by irrigation for all five applications. All groups received the regular fertilizer application for this crop at transplantation, flowering and fruiting periods. There were four plots per treatment group. Each plot had a surface area of 21 m2 that consisted of two rows that were 7 m long and 1.5 m wide. Plant height, stem diameter, distance from head to bouquet flowering, fruit set distance between the entire cluster and cluster flowering fruit set, leaf length and number of leaves per plant was recorded for 20 plants (5 plants per plot) at 56 and 61 days after the first application. Root length and diameter of cherry tomatoes were determined at harvest from 20 randomly selected plants. Harvesting yield per plot was registered and production per hectare was calculated. Both biostimulants improved (P < 0.05) all vegetative parameters compared with the control group. There was a positive linear (P < 0.001) effect of Pepton application rate for all parameters. The calculated yield was 7.8 and 1 Ton/ha greater that represent 27% and 2.9% higher production for Pepton applied at 4 kg/ha compared to the control and to Acadian respectively. In conclusion, Pepton was effective improving yield of gold cherry tomatoes under the low stress ambient growing conditions of this experiment. Probably short-chain peptides present in Pepton are involved in endogenous hormones and metabolic mediators that could explain the results obtained in this study.

Keywords: biostimulant, Seaweed, Tomato, Enzyme hydrolyzed, animal protein origin

Received: 08 May 2016; Accepted: 27 Dec 2017.

Edited by:

Ebrahim Hadavi, Islamic Azad University of Karaj, Iran

Reviewed by:

Iyyakkannu Sivanesan, Konkuk University, South Korea
Roberto Baigorri, Timac Agro, Spain  

Copyright: © 2017 Polo and Mata-Zayas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Javier Polo, APC Europe, S.A., R&D Department, Avda. Sant Julià 246-258, P.I. El Congost, Granollers, E-08403, Barcelona, Spain, javier.polo@apc-europe.com