Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 169–181 | Cite as

Vermicompost treatment differentially affects seed germination, seedling growth and physiological status of vegetable crop species

Original paper

Abstract

Vermicompost preparations are increasingly used in agricultural practice. There is a possibility, that crop plants are sensitive to negative effect of vermicompost at early stages of development. The aim of the present study was to test the effects of vermicompost on seed germination and seedling growth of different vegetable crop species. Vermicompost substitution inhibited seed germination and seedling growth with almost linear decrease of growth with increasing concentration of vermicopost in the substrate. However, both leaf chlorophyll content and photochemical activity of photosynthesis increased in all crop species with the exception of pea seedlings. Vermicompost extract as a watering solution showed positive effect on growth of bean and pea seedlings. Germination response of vermicompost extract-imbibed seeds was clearly crop species-dependent. Hypocotyl growth was stimulated by low and moderate vermicompost extract concentrations. Radicle growth was more sensitive to negative effect of vermicompost extract. It is reported that both solid vermicompost and vermicompost extract contain number of active substances of both phenolic and humic nature, each with own dose- and genotype-dependent effect of seed germination and early stages of seedling development. Findings of this study suggests that vermicompost must be used cautiously for practical purposes of plant propagation.

Keywords

Crop plants Chlorophyll Chlorophyll a fluorescence Germination Growth Physiological status Vermicast 

References

  1. Ali M, Griffiths AJ, Williams KP, Jones DL (2007) Evaluating the growth characteristics of lettuce in vermicompost and green waste compost. Eur J Soil Biol 43:S316–S319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alonso M, Rozados MJ, Vega JA, Pérez-Gorostiaga P, Cuiñas P, Fontúrbel MT, Férnandes C (2002) Biochemical responses of Pinus pinaster trees to fire-induced trunk gridling and crown scorch: secondary metabolites and pigments as needle chemical indicators. J Chem Ecol 28:687–700PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Appenroth K-J, Stöckel J, Srivastava A, Strasser RJ (2001) Multiple effects of chromate on the photosynthetic apparatus of Spirodela polyrhiza as probed by OJIP chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements. Env Pollut 115:49–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arancon NQ, Edwards CA, Bierman P, Metzger JD, Lucht C (2005) Effects of vermicomposts produced from cattle manure, food waste and paper waste on the growth and yield of peppers in the field. Pedobiologia 49:297–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arancon NQ, Edwards CA, Lee S, Byrne R (2006) Effects of humic acids from vermicomposts on plant growth. Eur J Soil Biol 42:S65–S69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arancon NQ, Edwards CA, Dick R, Dick L (2007a) Vermicompost tea production and plant growth impacts. BioCycle 2007:51–52Google Scholar
  7. Arancon NQ, Edwards CA, Yardim EN, Oliver TJ, Byrne RJ, Keeney G (2007b) Suppression of two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), mealy bug (Pseudococcus sp.) and aphid (Myzus persicae) populations and damage by vermicomposts. Crop Prot 26:29–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Arshad M, Frankenberger WT Jr (1997) Plant growth-regulating substances in the rhizosphere: microbial production and functions. Adv Agron 62:45–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Atiyeh RM, Dominguez J, Subler S, Edwards CA (2000) Changes in biochemical properties of cow manure during processing by earthworms (Eisenia andrei, Bouche) and the effects on seedling growth. Pedobiologia 44:709–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Atiyeh RM, Edwards CA, Subler S, Metzger JD (2001) Pig manure vermicompost as a component of a horticultural bedding plant medium: effects on physicochemical properties and plant growth. Bioresour Technol 78:11–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Atiyeh RM, Lee S, Edwards CA, Arancon NQ, Metzger JD (2002) The influence of humic acids derived from earthworm-processed organic wastes on plant growth. Bioresour Technol 84:7–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Azarmi R, Giglou MT, Hajieghrari B (2009) The effect of sheep-manure vermicompost on quantitative and qualitative properties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in the greenhouse. Afr J Biotechnol 8:4953–4957Google Scholar
  13. Bachman GR, Metzger JD (2008) Growth of bedding plants in commercial potting substrate amended with vermicompost. Bioresour Technol 99:3155–3161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brown ME (1972) Plant growth substances produced by micro-organisms of soil and rhizosphere. J Appl Microbiol 35:443–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Buckerfield JC, Flavel TC, Lee KE, Webster KA, Osmaond G (1999) Vermicompost in soild and liquid forms as a plant growth promoter. Pedobiologia 43:753–759Google Scholar
  16. Canellas LP, Façanha AO, Olivares FL, Façanha AR (2002) Humic acids isolated from earthworm compost enhance root elongation, lateral root emergence, and plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity in maize roots. Plant Physiol 130:1951–1957PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chen Y, Clapp CE, Magen H (2004) Mechanisms of plant growth stimulation by humic substances: the role of organo-iron complexes. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 50:1089–1095Google Scholar
  18. Edwards CA, Fletcher KE (1988) Interactions between earthworms and microorganisms in organic-matter breakdown. Agric Ecosyst Env 24:235–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Edwards CA, Arancon NQ, Vasko-Bennett M, Askar A, Keeney G (2010) Effect of aqueous extracts from vermicomposts on attacks by cucumber beetles (Acalymna vittatum) (Fabr.) on cucumber and tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) (L.) on tomatoes. Pedobiologia 53:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gutierrez-Miceli FA, Santiago-Borraz J, Molina JAM, Nafate CC, Abud-Archila M, Llaven MAO, Rincon-Rosales R, Dendooven L (2007) Vermicompost as a soil supplement to improve growth, yield and fruit quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Bioresour Technol 98:2781–2786PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Krishnamoorthy RV, Vajranabhaiah SN (1986) Biological activity of earthworm casts: an assessment of plant growth promotor levels in the casts. Proc Indian Acad Sci Anim Sci 95:341–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lazcano C, Arnold J, Tato A, Zaller JG, Dominguez J (2009) Compost and vermicompost a nursery pot components: effects on tomato plant growth and morphology. Span J Agric Res 7:944–951Google Scholar
  23. Lazcano C, Sampedro L, Zas R, Dominguez J (2010) Vermicompost enhances germination of the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.). New For 39:387–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marinari S, Masciandaro G, Ceccanti B, Grego S (2000) Influence of organic and mineral fertilisers on soil biological and physical properties. Bioresour Technol 72:9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Maxwell K, Johnson GN (2000) Chlorophyll fluorescence—a practical guide. J Exp Bot 51:659–668PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nardi S, Panuccio MR, Abenavoli MR, Muscolo A (1994) Auxin-like effect of humic substances extracted from faeces of Allobophora caliginosa and A. rosea. Soil Biol Biochem 26:1341–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Patterson DT (1981) Effects of allelopathic chemicals on growth and physiological responses of soybean (Glycine max). Weed Sci 29:53–59Google Scholar
  28. Pinton R, Cesco S, De Nobili M, Saniti S, Varanini Z (1998) Water- and pyrophosphate-extractable humic substances fractions as a source of iron for Fe-deficient cucumber plants. Biol Fertil Soils 26:23–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pramanik P (2010) Quantification of hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes in the excreta of three epigeic earthworms and detection of thiocarbamic acid by GC-MS-MS. Environmentalist 30:212–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reigosa MJ, Souto XC, González L (1999) Effect of phenolic compounds on the germination of six weed species. Plant Growth Regul 28:83–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rivera MC, Wright ER, Lopez MV, Garda D, Barrague MY (2004) Promotion of growth and control of damping-off (Rhizoctonia solani) of greenhouse tomatoes amended with vermicompost. Phyton 53:229–235Google Scholar
  32. Samsone I, Andersone U, Vikmane M, Ieviņa B, Pakarna G, Ievinsh G (2007) Nondestructive methods in plant biology: an accurate measurement of chlorophyll content by a chlorophyll meter. Acta Univ Latv 723:145–154Google Scholar
  33. Serfoji P, Rajeshkumar S, Selvaraj T (2010) Management of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita on tomato cv Pusa Ruby by using vermicompost, AM fungus, Glomus aggregatum and mycorrhiza helper bacterium, Bacillus coagulans. J Agric Technol 6:37–45Google Scholar
  34. Singh UP, Maurya S, Singh DP (2003) Antifungal activity and induced resistance in pea by aqueous extract of vermicompost and for control of powdery mildew of pea and balsam. J Plant Dis Protect 110:544–553Google Scholar
  35. Singh R, Sharma RR, Kumar S, Gupta RK, Patil RT (2008) Vermicompost substitution influences growth, physiological disorders, fruit yield and quality of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa Duch.). Bioresour Technol 99:8507–8511PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stevenson FJ (1972) Role and function of humus in soil with emphasis on adsorption of herbicides and chelation of micronutrients. Bioscience 22:643–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sutton R, Sposito G (2005) Molecular structure in soil humic substances: the new view. Env Sci Technol 39:9009–9015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tomati U, Grappelli A, Galli E (1988) The hormone-like effect of earthworm casts on plant growth. Biol Fertil Soils 5:288–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tomati U, Galli E, Grappelli A, Di Lena G (1990) Effect of earthworm casts on protein synthesis in radish (Raphanus sativum) and lettuce (Lactuga sativa) seedlings. Biol Fertil Soils 9:288–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Uma B, Malathi M (2009) Vermicompost as a soil supplement to improve growth and yield of Amaranthus species. Res J Agric Biol Sci 5:1054–1060Google Scholar
  41. Vaughan D, Malcolm RE, Ord BG (1985) Influence of humic substances on biochemical processes in plants. In: Vaughan D, Malcolm RE (eds) Soil organic matter and biological activity. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W Junk Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 77–108Google Scholar
  42. Yardim EN, Arancon NQ, Edwards CA, Oliver TJ, Byrne RJ (2006) Suppression of tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) and cucumber beetles (Acalyma vittatum and Diabotrica undecimpunctata) populations and damage by vermicomposts. Pedobiologia 50:23–29Google Scholar
  43. Zaller JG (2006) Foliar spraying of vermicompost extracts: effects on fruit quality and indications of late-blight suppression of field-grown tomatoes. Biol Agric Hortic 24:165–180Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of LatviaRigaLatvia

Personalised recommendations