2021(1)      January - March, 2021

Using brown seaweed as a biofertilizer in the crop management industry and assessing the nutrient upliftment of crops

Galabadage Indika Pavithrani Silva Makawita1,2*, Indira Wickramasinghe2, Isuru Wijesekara2

1Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka

2Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka


Due to the increasing levels of the world population, the demand for agricultural products has also increased over the years. Enhancing the yield and nutrient content of food products is therefore an important aspect in the current context. Experiments were conducted at both lab-scale and field level with extractions from Sargassum sp., to assess the growth of the plant, crop production, and nutrient content of Vigna radiata. A lab-scale experiment was conducted to identify and distinguish the germination percentage and seedling vigor of Sargassum treated and non-treated seeds. This included the application of a concentration series of polysaccharides and a concentration series of crude seaweed extract. The highest germination percentage was observed at 8% polysaccharide content and 15% liquid seaweed extraction (LSE) content resulting in 14% and 8% of germination increment against the control. When increasing the polysaccharide and LSE content exceeding the above-stated values, germination rate and seedling vigor dropped. When applied as foliar applications, an increment of pods against the control showed an increment of 28%, which is the maximum increment reached the 10% LSE concentration. With the polysaccharide application, the maximum yield increment was 31% with 10% concentration. Also, the dry weight content of seeds and the number of pods per plant and seed per pod have increased considerably. Further, both polysaccharide and LSE applications have increased the micronutrient and protein content in seeds. Therefore, it is recommended to use the LSE at 15% concentration and polysaccharide at 8% concentration at the germination stage and as a foliar application to increase the yield and nutrient content of the Vigna radiata plant.

Keywords: Bio-fertilizer, Germination, Seaweeds, Sargassum sp., Vigna radiata

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