Technical information Chitosan
Coating Seeds or Tubers with Hamerol Solution
- Chitosan facilitates plant growth by increasing the uptake and availability of water and essential nutrients by adjusting the osmotic pressure within the cells.
- Chitosan has a positive effect in forming a semi-permeable film on the seed surface, which helps retain moisture within the seed and allows for additional moisture absorption from the soil, promoting seed germination.
- Chitosan activates hydrolytic enzymes (such as protease and amylase) necessary for breaking down and mobilizing reserve food sources like starch and protein.
- Chitosan can promote the division of root cells by activating plant hormones like auxin and cytokinin, resulting in increased nutrient uptake from the soil.
Hamerol in the Soil
- Chitosan induces the formation of mycorrhizal connections between fungi and plant roots, as well as the symbiosis between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and plant roots. With the help of acids and enzymes, mycorrhizal fungi dissolve minerals and trace elements from soil particles and deliver them to the plant. Throughout the network of mycorrhizal threads, substances are secreted that provide nourishment for certain types of bacteria. This special bacterial flora (PGPR = Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) in turn releases substances that can displace pathogens around plant roots. The presence of mycorrhizas inside the roots means competition for food and space with other (less beneficial) invaders. It also stimulates the plant’s own defense system and produces substances in the roots that inhibit the invasion and development of root parasites.
- Chitosan has an indirect control effect through the stimulation of antagonism. Chitinase-producing microorganisms, capable of attacking the cell wall of pathogenic fungi, are stimulated by the addition of chitosan. These so-called chitinolytic bacteria and fungi can neutralize pathogens (which partly consist of chitin). After the chitosan molecule is absorbed by the plant, it encourages the production of indoleacetic acid and other auxins and gibberellins, promoting the plant’s root development. This enhances the plant’s resistance to drought. Chitosan functions as a natural chelator (binder) for metals and vital nutrients, reducing the leaching of applied fertilizers. This process limits the availability of nutrients to pathogenic bacteria in the soil.
Hamerol on the Leaves
- Chitosan increases crop yield in many cases by improving the photosynthesis index (by increasing chlorophyll levels in the leaves).
- Spraying with chitosan enhances stomatal function in the leaves (stomata), allowing the plant to perform better under dry conditions since the stomata remain closed longer during drought conditions.
- Plants have sensors in their leaves that can recognize various substances, one of which is chitin, as it is the main component of the cell walls of fungal pathogens and insects.
- Spraying leaves with chitosan mimics this effect, stimulating the plant to produce an immune response (SAR = Systemic Acquired Resistance).
- Resistance genes are activated, and resistance substances (plant hormones like salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene, as well as enzymes and proteins) are produced to neutralize the pathogen.
Direct Harmful Effect of Hamerol on Pathogens
The mechanism of action of chitosan against microorganisms involves both intracellular and extracellular effects. Three main mechanisms are distinguished for the inhibitory action of chitosan:
- The positively charged amino group of the chitosan molecule reacts with the negatively charged microbial cell membrane, leading to leakage of protein-containing and other intracellular components of the microorganism.
- Chitosan acts as a chelating agent that prevents cell growth of pathogenic microorganisms by binding trace elements and nutrients, making them unavailable as food for the pathogen.
- The third mechanism suggests that chitosan can interact with the DNA groups of the pathogen, thereby affecting the production of crucial proteins and enzymes. Additionally, chitosan can inhibit mitochondrial function and ATP production (where energy is formed for the pathogen).