ABSTRACT A standard protocol to evaluate the effects of biostimulants on plant physiology is still lacking. The proton pumps present in the vacuolar and plasma membranes are the primary agents responsible for the regulation of the electrochemical gradient that energizes the nutrient uptake system and acid growth mechanism of plant cells. In this study, two of these enzymes were characterized as biochemical markers of biostimulant activity. A simple and fast protocol based on the degree of root acidification using a pH sensitive dye and the Micro-Tom tomato as a plant model is proposed as an efficient methodology to prove the efficacy of biostimulants that are claimed to improve nutrient acquisition and root growth. The results agree with the data from more conventional, expensive and time-consuming proton pump assays. A direct correlation was found between plasmalemma proton-adenosine triphosphatase (H+-ATPase) activation and the amount of rhizosphere acidification observed in the bromocresol gel. Moreover, roots of the diageotropica (dgt) Micro-Tom plants, defective in auxin responses, barely acidify bromocresol purple gel even in the presence of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, 1 μM). The biostimulant TEA (vermicompost water extract, 25 %) enhances proton extrusion by 40 % in wild type (WT) plants, but no effect was induced in dgt plants. These results reinforce the notion that the class of biostimulant known as humic substances stimulates plant proton pumps and promotes root growth by exerting an auxin-like bioactivity and establish the usefulness of an economically and technically feasible assay to certify this kind of biostimulant.
The objective of this study was to analyze the physicochemical properties and carotenoid levels of pequi oil obtained by different extraction methods and to evaluate the preservation of these properties and pigments during storage time. The pequi oil was obtained by solvent extraction, mechanical extraction, and hot water flotation. It was stored for over 180 days in an amber bottle at ambient conditions. Analyses for the determination of the acidity, peroxide, saponification and iodine values, coloration, total carotenoids, and β-carotene levels were conducted. The oil extraction with solvents produced the best yield and carotenoid levels. The oil obtained by mechanical extraction presented higher acidity (5.44 mg KOH.g-1) and peroxide values (1.07 mEq.kg-1). During the storage of pequi oil, there was an increase in the acidity and the peroxide values, darkening of the oil coloration, and a reduction of the carotenoid levels. Mechanical extraction is the less advantageous method for the conservation of the physicochemical properties and carotenoid levels in pequi oil.
Este estudo objetivou analisar as propriedades físico-químicas e o teor de carotenoides totais do óleo de pequi (OP) obtido por diferentes métodos de extração, bem como avaliar a conservação dessas propriedades e dos pigmentos durante o armazenamento. O OP foi obtido por extração com solventes, extração mecânica e flotação com água quente, e armazenado por 180 dias em frascos âmbar sob condições ambientes. Foram realizadas análises para determinação dos índices de acidez, peróxido, saponificação e iodo, da coloração e do teor de carotenoides totais e de β-carotenos. Verificou-se que a extração com solventes promoveu um maior rendimento em óleo e o maior valor de carotenoides totais. A extração mecânica resultou em um óleo com acidez (5,44 mg KOH.g-1) e índice de peróxido (1,07 mEq.kg-1) elevados. Ao longo do armazenamento do OP, houve aumento da acidez e do índice de peróxido, escurecimento do óleo e redução do teor de carotenoides. A extração mecânica foi o método menos vantajoso para a conservação das propriedades físico-químicas e do teor de carotenoides no óleo de pequi.