Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 483–492 | Cite as

Evidence of phytohormones and phenolic acids variability in garden-waste-derived vermicompost leachate, a well-known plant growth stimulant

  • Adeyemi O. Aremu
  • Wendy A. Stirk
  • Manoj G. Kulkarni
  • Danuše Tarkowská
  • Veronika Turečková
  • Jiří Gruz
  • Michaela Šubrtová
  • Aleš Pěnčík
  • Ondřej Novák
  • Karel Doležal
  • Miroslav Strnad
  • Johannes Van Staden
Original Paper


Cytokinins, auxins, abscisic acid, gibberellins (GAs) and brassinosteroids (BRs) as well as the phenolic acid content in three batches of vermicompost leachate (VCL) were quantified using ultra high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. N 6-isopentenyladenine formed the major (60 %) proportion of the CK content while dihydrozeatin had the lowest (<0.02 %) concentration. Indole-3-acetic acid ranged from approximately 0.55–0.77 pmol/mL. A total of 18 GAs including bioactive forms and metabolic end products were observed in the VCL samples. Cathasterone had the highest (2,500–3,200 fg/mL) concentration while brassinolide was the lowest (1–5 fg/mL) abundant BRs found. Phenolic acids quantified were protocatechuic acid (3–3.6 µg/mL), p-hydroxybenzoic acid (2.5–2.8 µg/mL), p-coumaric acid (1–1.7 µg/mL) and ferulic acid (0–4 µg/mL). These results provide an indication of the rich diversity in natural PGRs and phytochemicals in VCL which may inevitably contribute to the numerous favorable physiological responses elicited by VCL application to plants.


Abscisic acid Biostimulant Brassinosteroids Cytokinins Gibberellins Phenolics 



Abscisic acid












cis-Zeatin riboside


cis-Zeatin riboside-5′-monophosphate


cis-Zeatin-O-glucoside riboside








Dihydrozeatin riboside


Dihydrozeatin riboside-5′-monophosphate


Dihydrozeatin-O-glucoside riboside




Indole-3-acetic acid


Immunoaffinity chromatography


N 6-Isopentenyladenine


N 6-Isopentenyladenine-9-glucoside


N 6-Isopentenyladenosine


N 6-Isopentenyladenosine-5′-monophosphate




Multiple reaction monitoring


Plant growth regulator


Solid-phase extraction








trans-Zeatin riboside


trans-Zeatin riboside-5′-monophosphate


trans-Zeatin-O-glucoside riboside


Ultra high performance liquid chromatography



The Claude Leon Foundation, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and National Research Foundation, South Africa are thanked for financial support. This work was also financed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic (the Program “Návrat” for Research, Development, and Innovations, no. LK21306), the Czech Science Foundation (Grant 14-34792S) and by the National Program for Sustainability (Grant. LO1204). We thank to Hana Martínková, Jarmila Greplová, Marie Vitásková and Andrea Novotná for excellent technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adeyemi O. Aremu
    • 1
  • Wendy A. Stirk
    • 1
  • Manoj G. Kulkarni
    • 1
  • Danuše Tarkowská
    • 2
  • Veronika Turečková
    • 2
  • Jiří Gruz
    • 2
  • Michaela Šubrtová
    • 2
  • Aleš Pěnčík
    • 2
  • Ondřej Novák
    • 2
  • Karel Doležal
    • 2
  • Miroslav Strnad
    • 2
  • Johannes Van Staden
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Life SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalScottsvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Laboratory of Growth Regulators & Department of Chemical Biology and Genetics, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Faculty of SciencePalacký University & Institute of Experimental Botany AS CROlomoucCzech Republic

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