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Effect of the foliar application of cyanobacterial hydrolysate (Arthrospira platensis) on the growth of Petunia x hybrida under salinity conditions


Salinity is one of the environmental factors inhibiting productivity in crop plants. Available strategies to mitigate the abiotic stresses are limited. Microalgae and cyanobacteria can mitigate the adverse effects of abiotic stress due to their biostimulant properties. The aim of this work was to study the effect of hydrolysate of the ciyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis on the growth of Petunia plants under salt stress conditions over two growing seasons (winter and spring). Plants were exposed to 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 dS m−1 EC, with and without application of A. platensis hydrolysate. At the end of the trial, biometric parameters and plant analysis were determined. Petunias had a negative response when the salinity level rose from 2 to 3 dS m−1 and exhibited moderate tolerance to high internal Na and Cl concentrations. Results show that a high salinity reduces the Ca, Mg, K, and S contents in the leaves and provokes a sharp reduction in the K+/Na+ relationship. Applying A. platensis hydrolysate alleviates the effects of NaCl stress and stimulates shoot and bud formation in the petunia mother plant while inducing flowering in commercial Petunia plants. The A. platensis hydrolysate application increased the K+/Na+ relationship in treatments with an EC of 3.0 dS m−1.

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This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 727874 SABANA.

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Correspondence to S. Jiménez-Becker.

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Bayona-Morcillo, P.J., Plaza, B.M., Gómez-Serrano, C. et al. Effect of the foliar application of cyanobacterial hydrolysate (Arthrospira platensis) on the growth of Petunia x hybrida under salinity conditions. J Appl Phycol 32, 4003–4011 (2020).

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  • NaCl
  • Biostimulants
  • Abiotic stress
  • Ornamental plant