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  • 21-03-2024

Boosting fruit setting under stress conditions

The fruit setting process is a crop critical stage that directly affects its yield and, therefore, the farmer profitability. This is why special attention must be paid to crop care during this period, which begins before flowering and affects both the physical and hormonal development of the plant.

A proper fruit setting depends on a balanced nutrition, which must be satisfied before reaching this stage in order to supply all the energy needs required for its formation. One of the fundamental macronutrients in this process is phosphorus, which is essential for the formation of flowers, the cell division and the production of sugars and energy by the plant.

Among the essential micronutrients are boron, molybdenum and zinc. It has been shown that micronutrients supply in the days prior to this stage improves both flowering and fruit setting.

  • Boron plays a crucial role in the translocation of sugars and other metabolic compounds in plants. It also contributes significantly to the pollination and fruit setting process, being essential for pollen germination and pollen quality, as well as for the formation of the pollen tube. A boron deficiency leads to an increase in the activity of the IAA oxidase enzyme, which regulates the levels of indole acetic acid. A shortage of this acid hinders pollen tube formation, resulting in a decrease in fruit setting levels.
  • Molybdenum is essential at this stage as it improves flower and pollen quality.
  • Zinc is involved in the production of auxins, which are responsible for the growth of fruit tissues, and participates in amino acid synthesis.

WHAT HAPPENS UNDER STRESS CONDITIONS?

Climate uncertainty and variability have increased the exposure of crops to water and stress conditions on a ongoing basis. Therefore, it is crucial to implement measures that allow crops to adapt effectively to highly variable environments.

Successful fruit setting has been primarily related to hormonal aspects, especially to adequate levels of gibberellins, which together with a proper balance of boron and molybdenum, are responsible for the creation of the pollen tube and promotes an adequate stimulation of egg growth.

Pollen deposited on the stigma produces positive growth stimuli, such as auxins and gibberellins. Gibberellins produced by pollen play a role in increasing auxin production in the ovary, thus promoting cell division and thus initial fruit setting.

However, the plant may experience fruit abscission if subjected to constant stress. In response to stress, abscisic acid (ABA) and carboxylic acids (CCA) accumulate in roots and fruit, affecting ethylene levels that trigger the abscission hormone response. Therefore, effectively addressing this issue becomes crucial.

Seaweeds, especially brown algae such as Ascophyllum nodosum, are widely used in agriculture to mitigate the effects of abiotic stress. Seaweed extracts contain various bioactive chemical constituents such as betaines, mannitol, amino acids, polysaccharides, fatty acids, vitamins, and growth regulators such as auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins, among others. They induce changes in cell metabolism by stimulating the synthesis of antioxidant molecules, thus improving plant growth and resistance to stress.

HEROGRA ESPECIALES SOLUTIONS

In Herogra Especiales we have created ECOTOP to help in this critical stage of crops.

ECOTOP provides a perfect balance of boron, zinc and molybdenum, with a boron-molybdenum and boron-zinc sinergy.

  • Zinc is complexed with amino acids to improve its mobility within the plant and stimulate amino acid biosynthesis.
  • Ascophyllum nodosum extract has been added to combat abiotic stress, increasing plant resistance and preventing fruit abscission.
  • Betaine for a biostimulating effect.
  • Mannitol to improve osmoregulation.
  • Fruit setting enhancer ST14, which regulates plant hormones and improves plant production.

ECOTOP is the best choice to promote fruit setting and help crops address climate change, reducing stress at its most crucial stage.

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