Chitosan – one of the most promising bio-stimulants
Bio-stimulants are a promising group of compounds for sustainable, environment-friendly and consumer-safe agriculture – as increasingly desired by the market.
Since long, chitosan has been known to exhibit growth promoting and resistance inducing effects on crop plants, but the ‘first generation’ chitosans available in the past led to variable and non-reliable results in the field. Research of the past two decades now yielded today’s ‘second generation’ chitosans with better defined pro-perties and reliable functionalities. These are now becoming available on sufficiently large scale for the development of economically viable products. Current research as foremost in the Nano3Bio project already aims at novel ‘third generation’ chitosans, with known molecular and cellular modes of action for further improvements of their performance.
For example beans exhibit higher germination rates and better root growth when treated with a specific, optimised ‘third generation’ chitosan. When bean plants emerging from these chitosan-treated seeds are sprayed with a different ‘third generation’ chitosan optimised for foliar spray, they show enhanced vigour and improved tolerance to abiotic stress as well as disease resistance.