Organic and ecological farming programs require new and efficient biostimulants with beneficial properties for the sustainable and safe production of seedlings and ornamental plants. The team examined the effect of non-fermented and lacto-fermented alfalfa brown juice (BJ) on seed germination and the vegetative, physiological, and anatomical properties of French marigold (Tagetes patula L. 'Csemő') plants which were treated with 0.5-10% fermented and non-fermented BJ, with tap water applied as a control.
Applying 0.5% fermented BJ significantly improved seed germination compared with non-fermented BJ, resulting in an increase of 9.6, 11.2, 10.9, and 41.7% in the final germination percent, germination rate index, germination index, and vigor index, respectively. In addition, it increased the root and shoot length by 7.9 and 16.1%, respectively, root and shoot dry mass by 20 and 47.6%, respectively, and the number of leaves by 28.8% compared to the control.
Furthermore, an increase in contents of water-soluble phenol, chlorophyll a and b, and carotenoid was reported upon the application of 0.5% fermented BJ, while peroxidase activity decreased. Our results prove that alfalfa BJ can be enrolled as a biostimulant as part of the circular farming approach which supports the sustainable horticultural practice.
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Barna, Döme & Kisvarga, Szilvia & Kovács, Szilvia & Csatári, Gábor & O.Tóth, Ibolya & Fári, Miklós & Alshaal, Tarek & Bakonyi, Nora. (2021). Raw and Fermented Alfalfa Brown Juice Induces Changes in the Germination and Development of French Marigold (Tagetes patula L.) Plants. Plants. 10. 10.3390/plants10061076.