A group of Mexican specialists has developed an organic liquid compound containing two powerful antioxidants that help prevent stress in various vegetables and fruits. They've already tested it with positive results on saladette tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries and papayas in various of the country's states, showing how it has helped in increasing production.
The red liquid was used, for example, on papaya crops in Colima, and the fruit's production has grown from 22 to 46 tonnes per hectare.
The project leader, Dr Benjamín Rodríguez Garay, of the Plant Biotechnology Unit of the Research Centre for Assistance in Technology and Design of the State of Jalisco (CIATEJ), said that they came up with this solution to prevent mortality of plants due to abiotic stress, "and it has certainly worked out well."
This "red liquid" is a mixture of compounds that contains two powerful organic antioxidants; it protects plants from excessive light and from perspiration. The product helps plants cope with abiotic stress factors, such as heat and drought.
"In the process of in vitro propagation of various species, many plants are lost when finally transferred from the in vitro production conditions in the laboratory to ex vitro in the greenhouse. This is because the plants suffer from stress due to excessive light, loss of moisture and heat, which is why we thought about developing this formulation," stated the scientist.
The red substance filters sunlight, allowing only one wavelength of light at 630 nanometres to pass; as a result, damage caused by excess ultraviolet light is prevented. The red light concentrated on the leaf results in a better photosynthetic activity, and more chlorophyll, improved health and productivity.
When the formulation is applied by foliar spray, it forms a red film on the surface which filters red light and prevents the plant from dehydration and excessive heat-induced perspiration.
Dr Rodríguez Garay said that performance tests are being carried out with the greatest possible number of crops, especially with vegetables that have already yielded a satisfactory increase in production. "We just received data from a saladette tomato harvest in Michoacan, with a reported 27 percent increase in the yield, and the results achieved with cucumbers and blueberries are similar."
In vegetables like tomatoes, papayas and cucumbers, the red formulation is applied first to the seedling when it is still being grown in the greenhouse. After these are transferred to the place where they will become productive, be it open ground fields or greenhouses, foliar applications are made every 15 days or every month, depending on the crop and up until the flowering starts.
Then it is no longer necessary, because by that time the stems are already stronger and more robust, with an increase in the production of flowers and a consequent boost in the fruit's yield and calibre.
The red liquid has already obtained a patent in Mexico, the U.S., Canada and three European countries. Research in the CIATEJ has been supported by FINNOVA and CONACYT. At the moment, the market study is still underway and the LR Forte brand has already been registered.
"Right now we are looking for companies interested in the product; we have it ready for transfer and all firms are more than welcome to test and validate it. Is easy to implement and any agrochemical company can easily produce it."
Source: Agencia ID