Researchers at the School of BioSciences, University of Nottingham have revealed more details to the speciality fertiliser publication New Ag International about their latest research into the role of phosphites in plant development and how the their foliar application of enhances root growth and development.

As it is now recognised that phosphites are not a nutrient source of phosphorus (P) in plants, their general use focuses on two main functions, their potential ‘fungicidal’ activity and their role in growth promotion.

The article published in the November/December 2015 edition of New Ag International reviews the studies carried out by researchers at Nottingham University into the claimed effects of phosphites in plant development.  In this study there was no evidence of a direct fungicidal effect or a stimulation in production of phytoalexins (activator agents in the plant’s natural defence system)  as a result of application to wheat. However, application showed consistent results in root growth and development in wheat and also in equivalent studies  on oilseed rape, sugar beet and ryegrass.

In addition to reinforcing our knowledge of the effects of phosphites on rooting, this research has also laid the foundations for further research into the underlying mechanisms that promote this root growth which will help validate the role of phosphites as effective biostimulants.

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