Application of an Enzymatic Hydrolysed L-α-Amino Acid-Based Biostimulant to Improve Sunflower Tolerance to Imazamox
Herbicides, commonly used in agriculture to control weeds, often cause negative effects on crops. Safeners are applied to reduce the damage to crops without affecting the effectiveness of herbicides against weeds. Plant biostimulants have the potential to increase tolerance to a series of abiotic stresses, but very limited information exists about their effects on herbicide-stressed plants.
This study aims to verify whether the application of a potential safener such as Terra-Sorb®, an L-α-amino acid-based biostimulant, reduces the phytotoxicity of an Imazamox-based herbicide and to elucidate which tolerance mechanisms are induced. Sunflower plants were treated with Pulsar® 40 (4% Imazamox) both alone and in combination with Terra-Sorb®.
Plants treated with the herbicide in combination with Terra-Sorb® showed higher growth, increased acetolactate synthase (ALS) activity, and amino acid concentration with respect to the plants treated with Imazamox alone. Moreover, the biostimulant protected photosynthetic activity and reduced oxidative stress. This protective effect could be due to the glutathione S-transferase (GST) induction and antioxidant systems dependent on glutathione (GSH). However, no effect of the biostimulant application was observed regarding phenolic compound phenylalanine ammonium-lyase (PAL) activity.
Therefore, this study opens the perspective of using Terra-Sorb® in protecting sunflower plants against an Imazamox-based herbicide effect.