An Ascophyllum nodosum-Derived Biostimulant Protects Model and Crop Plants from Oxidative Stress

Metabolites. 2020 Dec 31;11(1):24. doi: 10.3390/metabo11010024.


Abiotic stresses, which at the molecular level leads to oxidative damage, are major determinants of crop yield loss worldwide. Therefore, considerable efforts are directed towards developing strategies for their limitation and mitigation. Here the superoxide-inducing agent paraquat (PQ) was used to induce oxidative stress in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana and the crops tomato and pepper. Pre-treatment with the biostimulant SuperFifty (SF) effectively and universally suppressed PQ-induced leaf lesions, H2O2 build up, cell destruction and photosynthesis inhibition. To further investigate the stress responses and SF-induced protection at the molecular level, we investigated the metabolites by GC-MS metabolomics. PQ induced specific metabolic changes such as accumulation of free amino acids (AA) and stress metabolites. These changes were fully prevented by the SF pre-treatment. Moreover, the metabolic changes of the specific groups were tightly correlating with their phenotypic characteristics. Overall, this study presents physiological and metabolomics data which shows that SF protects against oxidative stress in all three plant species.

Keywords: Ascophyllum nodosum; biostimulant; oxidative stress.