Amino acid impact on growth & development of plant

Organic compound containing amine (-NH2) and carboxylic (-COOH) functional group along with a side chain (R group) specific to each amino acid.

Amino acid impact on growth & development of plantThe key element of an amino acid are carbon (C),hydrogen (H),oxygen (O), and nitrogen (N), although other elements are found in the side chains of certain amino acids. About 500 naturally occurring amino acids are known (though only 20 appear in the genetic code) and can be classified in many ways.

 They can be classified according to the core structural functional groups’ locations as alpha- (α-), beta- (β-), gamma- (γ-) or delta- (δ-) amino acids; other categories relate to polarity, pH level, and side chain group type (aliphatic, acyclic, aromatic, containing hydroxyl or sulfur, etc.).

In the form of proteins, amino acid residues form the second-largest component (water is the largest) of human muscles and other tissues. Beyond their role as residues in proteins, amino acids participate in a number of processes such as neurotransmitter transport and biosynthesis

Important role in plant health

Amino acids play such an important role in plant health that it is my feeling you need to know with 100% certainty that your plant has access to them as often as it needs.

The best way from my experience to get the most benefit is to use a full-spectrum, 100%-soluble, plant-based amino acid supplement. You will have complete control of where, when and how much you apply, thus allowing you to find the perfect application rate that allows your crop to reach its full potential.

Amino acids can play different roles in plants; they can act as stress-reducing agents, source of nitrogen and hormone precursors. In the soil, they can be found in different forms, however, their half-life is short and their absorption by plants is only possible due to the presence of transporters in the roots.

Application of amino acids via seed can result in a better plant development, since these molecules can act as signals of several beneficial physiological processes of plants. Studies show that FA of amino acids in plants is promising  but the effect of the application of amino acids on the oxidative metabolism of soybean has received little attention.

Despite the knowledge about the positive effect of amino acid application on plants, most of the studies were carried out with products composed of a set of amino acids, and there is little information regarding the isolated effect of these amino acids on plants.

In addition, amino acids such as glutamate, cysteine, phenylalanine, and glycine may act directly or indirectly in the attenuation of plant oxidative stresses. Thus, their application on seeds or leaves may be an alternative to attenuate the effects caused by the oxidative stress that plants may suffer.

The application of bio stimulants, i.e. amino acids extract was found to extent positive effect of plant growth which overcomes the harmful effect of some environmental stress such as drought.

The importance of amino acids came from their widely used for the biosynthesis of a large variety of non proteinic nitrogenous materials, i.e. pigments, vitamins, coenzymes, purine and pyrimidine bases. Studies have proved that amino acids can directly or indirectly influence the physiological activities in plant growth and yield .

The uptake of amino acids by plants is more advantageous energetically, when compared to the absorption of NO3; NH4+ or biological fixation, because the plant does not need energy to assimilate the absorbed nitrogen and later incorporate it into amino acids.

However, the capacity of the amino acids to be absorbed by the roots is closely linked to their availability in the rhizosphere and to the activity of amino acid transporters in cell membranes in contact with the soil solution Amino acids can play different roles in plants, such as stress-reducing agents, nitrogen source and hormone precursors.

Another important fact is the role of amino acids as a signaling factor of different physiological processes in plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana, glutamate receptors (GRLs) have been identified, which are also capable of binding to other amino acids. These receptors, when activated by amino acids, are capable of triggering a series of physiological processes such as the regulation of nitrogen uptake, root development and antioxidant metabolism.

The better root growth favored by the addition of amino acids can enhance the biologic nitrogen fixation, which leads to a greater production of ureides. Furthermore, with the larger root surface the nutrient uptake can also be increased, as for example, the nitrate. The nitrogen metabolism can also be altered due to the signaling role promoted by the amino acids.

Maize plants grown in a diluted nutrient solution containing a mixture of free amino acids presented changes, and included several transcripts encoding transcription factors, among them those related to cellular organization, stress, transport and metabolism and hormonal signaling.

Some studies have shown the efficiency of amino acid uptake by plants, and that the application of amino acids via seed treatment may have an effect on a good development of the plant, since these molecules can trigger physiological processes favorable to development.

Other studies show a positive effect of foliar application of amino acid mixtures on plants, such as increased productivity in Solanum lycopersicum and higher accumulation of dry matter mass, chlorophylls, carbohydrates and polysaccharides.

Most of the studies are conducted using a group of amino acids in only one application time, not allowing the characterization of the effects of isolated amino acids and of the modes of their application.

We have recently shown that the amino acids used in this work have different effects on the oxidative metabolism of soybean as a function of the application form (seed treatment, foliar application or foliar seed treatment).

Thus, this study is based on the hypothesis that the application of amino acids can modulate some steps involved in the nitrogen metabolism, which can lead to increasing the productivity of the soybean crop.

Amino Acids and Stress Resistance

Stress factors such as high temperatures, low humidity, frosts, pest attacks, hail storms or floods have a negative effect on plant metabolism with a corresponding reduction in crop quality and quantity.

The application of amino acids before, during and after stressful conditions supplies the plants with components directly related to stress physiology and thus has both a preventative and recovering effect.

Amino Acids and Photosynthesis

Amino acids are fundamental in chlorophyll production; Chlorophyll being the driving force behind photosynthesis. Amino acids help to increase chlorophyll concentration in the plant, leading to a higher degree of photosynthesis, which in turn leads to even more available energy.

Amino Acids and Stomata of Plants

Beyond external factors such as light, humidity and temperature, the stomata of the plant open and close with the help of internal factors including, you guessed it, amino acids.

This opening and closing helps control the moisture balance within the plant, but maybe most importantly, it also helps with the facilitation of gasses like carbon dioxide, which is required for extreme continuous growth.

Amino Acids, Pollination and Fruit Formation

Amino acids help with the fertility of pollen and thus are essential for pollination. They increase pollen germination and the length of the pollinic tube, which improves fruit set, strengthens cell walls for longer shelf life and helps improve the ripening stage of fruits, benefiting flavor and terpene production.

The best application rates/methods of aminos are going to be debated for many years to come, but I have personally observed a wide range of benefits from my own testing of more than 30 different species of fruiting and flowering plants including bananas, passion fruit, dragon fruit, citrus, carrots, beans, peas, celery and others in my test greenhouse with various concentrations and intervals of applications.

My research has concluded that for the best results, applications of amino acids should be done every one to three weeks in the soil, and applied to the foliage every five to seven days. Soil drench concentrations can and should be much stronger than foliar applications.

It does not take as high of a concentration of amino acids in a foliar application to fill the amino gaps and requirements of plants as they are the only thing utilizing them. However, in the soil it’s not just the roots that use amino acids.

Microbial life and even physical soil components themselves will be taking advantage of your generous offering. Keep in mind that amino acids contain high amounts of nitrogen within their structure and due to the high solubility of amino acids they are to some degree a nitrogen fertilizer themselves. Adjusting your fertilizer program slightly may be necessary to compensate for this.

As for the time in a plant’s life where you do not want any extra nitrogen, amino acids are still going to be beneficial. Just concentrate on applying light amounts in fine mist sprays more often. This way your plants should receive all the physiological benefits without the risk of excess amino acids being treated as a nitrogen fertilizer by your plant.

During vegetative stages or just on vegetative plants that require or can utilize nitrogen fertilizers, amino acids are exceptional at providing this nitrogen in a recognizable, high-quality form.

There are numerous ways to supply your crops with amino acids, although some are better than others. The good news is that amino acids themselves are completely water soluble so they can be easily incorporated into your garden in many ways through many different systems.