Effect of Bacterial-algal Biostimulant on the Yield and Internal Quality of Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Produced for Spring and Summer Crop

Tomáš KOPTA, Marcela PAVLÍKOVÁ, Agnieszka SĘKARA, Robert POKLUDA, Blahoslav MARŠÁLEK


Plant biostimulants can enhance crop nutrition status, stress tolerance, yield and quality in environment-friendly manner. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an algae and bacteria preparations on the yield and nutritional parameters of leaf and romaine lettuce cultivated for spring and summer crop. The application of a combined biostimulant consisting of plant growth-promoting bacteria (Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus megatherium, Azotobacter sp., Azospirillum sp., and Herbaspirillum sp.) and fresh water algae (Chlorella vulgaris) was done by watering the lettuce every 14 days, and a determination of the fresh weight, total antioxidant capacity, and total carotenoids content was performed. The result revealed that the application of bacterial-algal preparation significantly affected the plant weight of both romaine and leaf lettuce in spring and summer seasons. The highest increase in the weight of romaine lettuce reached 18.9% in the spring crop, while in the case of leaf lettuce, biostimulant treatment led to a 22.7% higher weight in the summer crop. Total antioxidant capacity and total carotenoids content showed increased values in the summer crop of romaine lettuce, while for the leaf lettuce there were no differences between treatments. Therefore, the positive effect of bacterial-algal treatment on lettuce yield, total antioxidant capacity and total carotenoids confirm that it could be applied for improving romaine lettuce yield quality and quantity, especially in stress, summer conditions.

Full Text:



Ahmad F, Ahmad I, Aqil F, Khan MS, Hayat S (2008). Diversity and Potential of Nonsymbiotic Diazotrophic Bacteria in Promoting Plant Growth. In: Ahmad I, Pichtel J, Hayat S (Eds). Plant-Bacteria Interactions: Strategies and Techniques to Promote Plant Growth. Weinheim, Germany, Wiley pp 81-109.

Almeselmani M, Deshmukh PS, Sairam RK, Kushwaha SR, Singh TP (2006). Protective role of antioxidant enzymes under high temperature stress. Plant Science 171:382-388.

Amanda A, Ferrante A, Valagussa M, Piaggesi A (2009). Effect of biostimulants on quality of baby leaf lettuce grown under plastic tunnel. Acta Horticulturae 807:407-412.

Babu NR, Devraj VR (2008). High temperature and salt stress response in French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Australian Journal of Crop Science 2:40-48.

Bertoldi FC, Sant’Anna E, Oliveira JLB (2008). Review: Microalgae biotechnology. Boletim Centro de Pesquisa de Processamento de Alimentos A 26(1):9-20.

Brand-Williams W, Cuvelier ME, Berset C (1995). Use of a free radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. Food Science and Technology 28:25-30.

Bunning ML, Kendall PA, Stone MB, Stonaker FH, Stushnoff C (2010). Effects of seasonal variation on sensory properties and total phenolic content of 5 lettuce cultivars. Journal of Food Science 75(3):S156-S161.

Chatterjee R (2015). Influence of nutrient sources on growth, yield and economics of organic lettuce production under foothills of eastern Himalayan region. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 27(5):460-462.

Cole JJ (1982). Interactions between bacteria and algae in aquatic ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 13:291-314.

Colla G, Rouphael Y, Di Mattia E, El-Nakhel C, Cardarelli M (2015). Co-inoculation of Glomus intraradices and Trichoderma atroviride acts as a biostimulant to promote growth, yield and nutrient uptake of vegetable crops. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 95:1706-1715.

Du Jardin P (2015). Plant biostimulants: Definition, concept, main categories and regulation. Scientia Horticulturae 196:3-14.

Esringu A, Ekinci M, Turan M, Usta S, Dursun A, Ercisli S, Yildirim E (2015). Selenium supplementation affects the growth, yield and selenium accumulation in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Comptes Rendus de L’Academie Bulgare des Sciences 68(6):801-810.

Fallovo C, Rouphael Y, Cardarelli M, Rea E, Battistelli A, Colla G (2009). Yield and quality of leafy lettuce in response to nutrient solution composition and growing season. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment 7(2):456-462.

Fan D, Mark Hodges D, Zhang J, Kirby CW, Ji X, Locke SJ, Critchley AT, Prithiviraj B (2011). Commercial extract of the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum enhances phenolic antioxidant content of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) which protects Caenorhabditis elegans against oxidative and thermal stress. Food Chemistry 124:195-202.

Han YY, Li YB, Fan SX, Liu CJ, Hao JH, Chen QJ, Dong J (2016). Screening and identification of lettuce germplasm for tolerance to high and low temperature. Acta Horticulturae 1127:381-388.

Holm G (1954). Chlorophyll mutations in barley. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica 4:457-471.

Hoque MM, Ajwa H, Othman M, Smith R, Cahn M (2010). Yield and postharvest quality of lettuce in response to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers. HortScience 45(10):1539-1544.

Jarak M, Zdravkovic M, Duric S, Damjanovic M (2006). Response of beans to inoculation and fertilizers. Annals of the Faculty Engineering Hunedoara 4(3):61-66.

Jiménez DJ, Montana JS, Martinez MM (2011). Characterization of free nitrogen fixing bacteria of the genus Azotobacter in organic vegetable-grown Colombian soils. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology 42(3):846-858.

Lee RB (1988). Phosphate influx and extracellular phosphatase activity in barley roots and rose cells. New Phytologist 109(2):141-148.

Liu X, Ardo S, Bunning M, Parry J, Zhou K, Stushnoff C, … Kendal P (2007). Total phenolic content and DPPH radical scavenging activity of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown in Colorado. LWT - Food Science and Technology 40(3):552-557.

Marketsandmarkets.com (2014). Biostimulants market by active ingredient (acid-based and extract based), by application type (foliar, soil, and seed), by crop type (row crops, fruits and vegetables, and turf and ornamentals) and by region - global trends and forecasts to 2019. USA MarketsandMarkets™ INC. Retrieved 2016 Jan 11 from http://www.marketsandmarkets.com.

Mou B, Ryder EJ (2004). Relationship between the nutritional value and the head structure of lettuce. Acta Horticulturae 637:361-367.

Mou B (2005). Genetic variation of beta-carotene and lutein contents in lettuce. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 130(6):870-876.

Muymas P, Pichyangkura R, Wiriyakitnateekul W, Wangsomboondee T, Chadchawan S, Seraypheap K (2015). Effects of chitin-rich residues on growth and postharvest quality of lettuce. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 31(2):108-117.

Noaman NH, Fattah A, Khaleafa M, Zaky SH (2004). Factors affecting antimicrobial activity of Synechococcus leopoliensis. Microbiological Research 159(4):395-402.

Or D, Phutane S, Dechesne A (2007). Extracellular polymeric substances affecting pore-scale hydrologic conditions for bacterial activity in unsaturated Soils. Vadose Zone Journal 6(2):298-305.

Pfeiffer W (1996). Auxin induces exocytosis of acid phosphatase in coleoptiles from Zea mays. Physiologia Plantarum 98(4):773-779.

Redmile-Gordon MA, Evershed RP, Hirsch PR, White RP, Goulding KWT (2015). Soil organic matter and the extracellular microbial matrix show contrasting responses to C and N availability. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 88:257-267.

Remminghorst U, Rehm B (2006). Bacterial alginates: From biosynthesis to applications. Biotechnology Letters 28(21):1701-1712.

Reyes LF, Villarreal JE, Cisneros-Zevallos L (2007). The increase in antioxidant capacity after wounding depends on the type of fruit or vegetable tissue. Food Chemistry 101(3):1254-1262.

Rouphael Y, Cardarelli M, Bonini P, Colla G (2017). Synergistic action of a microbial-based biostimulant and a plant derived-protein hydrolysate enhances lettuce tolerance to alkalinity and salinity. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:131.

Saini RK, Shang XM, Ko EY, Choi JH, Keum YS (2016). Stability of carotenoids and tocopherols in ready-to-eat baby-leaf lettuce and salad rocket during low-temperature storage. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 67(5):489-495.

Skovgaard M, Renjel Encinas S, Jensen OC, Andersen JH, Condarco G, Jørs E (2017). Pesticide residues in commercial lettuce, onion, and potato samples from Bolivia - A threat to public health? Environmental Health Insights 11:1-8.

Steenhoudt O, Vanderleyden J (2000). Azospirillum, a free-living nitrogen-fixing bacterium closely associated with grasses: genetic, biochemical and ecological aspects. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 24(4):487-506.

Takahashi H (2013). Auxin biology in roots. Plant Root 7:49-64.

Tarakhovskaya ER, Maslov YI, Shishova MF (2007). Phytohormones in algae. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology 54(2):163-170.

Thorp K, Chu Q, Liu J, Bali K, Thorp KR (2016). Automated thinning increases uniformity of in-row spacing and plant size in Romaine lettuce. HortTechnology 26(1):12-19.

Tsavkelova EA, Klimova SY, Cherdyntseva TA, Netrusov AI (2006). Microbial producers of plant growth stimulators and their practical use: A review. Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology 42(2):117-126.

UNECE Standard FFV-22 (2012). Concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of lettuces, curled-leaved endives and broad-leaved (Batavian) endives. New York and Geneva: United Nations.

Von Bennewitz E, Hlušek J (2006). Effect of the application of two biopreparations on the nutritional status, vegetative and generative behaviour of ‘Jonagold’ apple trees. Acta Horticulturae 721:129-135.

Watanabe K, Takihana N, Aoyagi H, Hanada S, Watanabe Y, Ohmura N, Saiki H, Tanaka H (2005). Symbiotic association in Chlorella culture. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 51(2):187-196.

Yin TT, Pin UL, Ghazali AHA (2015). Influence of external nitrogen on nitrogenase enzyme activity and auxin production in Herbaspirillum seropedicae (Z78). Tropical Life Sciences Research 26(1):101-110.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/nbha46211110

June 1, 2017: Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca in CiteScore rank (Scopus – Elsevier) 28/66 in Horticulture