Increase of resistance to drought and other adverse environmental factors
Materials of this chapter were published in:
- Zlotnikov K. M., Pustovoitova T. N., Zlotnikov A. K. (2000) Metabolites of Pseudomonas
aureofaciens H16 and Bacillus megaterium PC2 increase drought resistance of spring wheat.
In: Kulaev I. S. (Ed.) Modern problems of microbial biochemistry and biotechnology. Abstr.
Int. Symp., Puschino, June 25-30, 2000. IBPM. Puschino. p. 138-139.
- Zlotnikov A.K. Application of Albit for the improvement of resistance of plants to drought
and other stresses / A.K. Zlotnikov, K.M. Zlotnikov // Agro XXI.- 2007.-¹ 10-12.-p.37-38 (Rus).
is one of the main problems the modern agriculture facing with. It is calculated
that drought and desertification lead to world annual agricultural losses of
42 billions dollars. Past 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010 and 2012 years
were droughty for all agricultural regions of Russia or for part of them. Total
losses due to drought and other natural disasters only in 2000 in Russia made
up 20 billions rubles. According to scientists’ predictions, global warming
will lead not only to temperature growth, but also to increasing of temperature
fluctuations and increase of number of extremely cold and hot (drought) summers.
One of the most effective directions of protective sowings against
drought is increase natural drought resistance of plants. Together with breeding
of new drought resistance varieties of plants, also role of biostimulants is
important (enhancers of drought resistance). Range of this biostimulants is
only beginning to appear in market. Leading chemical companies design this
biostimulants. Albit became the first biostimulant, which
officially recommended for increase of drought resistance of field crops (List
of pesticides …, 2008). Director of VNII National Institute of Biological Plant
Protection, member of the Academy, V.D. Nadykta noted: «Albit is the
only biostimulant helping farmers of Krasnodar krai effective control weeds».
In average, based on integral parameters, Albit increases drought resistance
of plants by 10-60 %.
The most clearly the effect of Albit on drought resistance of plants is detected
on olive trees. When growing on boghara, olive trees are constantly in conditions
of severe drought. Spraying with Albit helps plants to retain moisture and
form a good yield (Fig. 1). The yield increase is several tens of percent.
Fig. 1. Influence of Albit on ability of
olive trees to form crop on boghara in dry conditions. Control (standard
protection system without Albit), 2 and 3-fold sprayings with Albit (cooperative
Olivarera Nuestra Senora de Gracia SCA, Benameji, Andalusia, Spain,
The efficiency of soil moisture consumption by
spring wheat breed Prohorovka was evaluated during the field trials which were
held at the Ogarev’s State University, Mordovia in 2006-2008 (Kargin V.I.,
How to improve the efficiency of soil moisture utilization / V.I. Kargin, A.A.
Erofeev, D.N. Govorov, R.A.Zaharkina, U.I. Kargin // Plant Protection and Quarantine.-2011.-7.-P.45-47
(Rus)). The trials were carried out in combination with different methods
of soil treatment (without any treatment, conventional tillage, harrowing,
disking, etc.) (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. The influence of Albit on the efficiency of soil moisture
consumption by spring wheat
On average, for the formation of 1 ton of grain 78.3 mm of water was spent
(without chemical pesticides application) and 58.4 mm (in variations where
chemical pesticides were applied). Application of Albit (pre-sowing treatment
30 ml/t) reduces the amount of water necessary for the formation of
a ton of grain, by 8.8 and 5.1 mm, respectively (11.3% and 8.7% to
The maximal water rate was at zero tillage (no-till), and in this case Albit
significantly reduced the water consumption (Fig. 2).
Influence of Albit on drought resistance of plants was examined
in details in pot experiments with spring wheat performed in Institute of Plant
Physiology RAS. Drought is a complex phenomenon, which includes moisture deficiency
and increased temperature of environment. Ability of plants to resist high
temperatures was examined according to heat resistance index;
drought resistance was examined according to water
retention capacity, water content in leaves and transpiration intensity).
Application of Albit reliably increased all the listed characteristics, except
for transpiration intensity. Results of trials are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1. Influence of Albit on drought resistance of plants (Institute of Plant Physiology RAS, 2000)
|| Albit - dependent increase over control
| Water retention capacity
| Water content in leaves
| Transpiration intensity
decreased by 31-66 %
| Heat resistance
Treatment with Albit increased the ability of plants to resist high temperature
under drought conditions. So, application of Albit increased heat resistance
of wheat under conditions of drought and watering up to 134-160% (100% - untreated
control) and 107-153%, respectively. With the lapse of time hot resistance
of Albit treated plants increased even more. Treatment with Albit also lead
to more efficient water consumption of plants: intensity
of transpiration of Albit-treated plants decreased more than twice, from 453
to 203 mg of water/g of biomass in one hour under watering, and from 247 to
171 mg of water/g of biomass in one hour under drought conditions.
As it was found in trials, ability of Albit to provide high yields
under drought conditions depends on both activation of plant’s biochemical
mechanisms of drought resistance (hot resistance, water retention ability)
and improvement of rootage.
Albit increased rooting, the formation of additional secondary roots, resulting
in increased resistance to drought. According to foreign scientists (Faculty
of Agriculture, University of Abuja, 2010), field germination of corn seeds
in the semi-desert zone of Nigeria (South Sahara) as a result of treatment
with Albit increased from 83.3 to 90.0%, the mass of the root system increased
by 17,5%, total plant health index increased by 63.3%.
The above mentioned mechanisms
of influence of Albit on drought resistance of plants are summarized
in the principal scheme (Fig.
Fig. 3. Mechanisms of action of Albit on drought resistance
Ability of Albit to increase drought resistance of plants was confirmed in
practice on different agricultures (cereals, sugar beet, sunflower, vegetables).
Due to this feature, Albit provides considerable yield increase even under
conditions of drought and high temperature, when effect of other chemical and
biological products becomes negligible. It was demonstrated in tests of Kurgan
Institute of Grain Growing (1998), All-Russia Institute of Agrochemistry (1997-1998),
Tuva Regional Plant Protection Station (2001) and others, carried out in different
regions of Russia where drought is common (forest-steppe zone of Siberia) and
in other regions in drought years.
The activity of Albit was clearly manifested under the catastrophic
conditions of heat and drought in 2010. In field trials of Ryazan
Agricultural Research Institute, winter wheat spraying with Albit increased
grain yield by 18% (with an average long-term raise for
this culture of 13%). Pre-planting treatment of potato tubers with Albit
led to earlier (for 7 days) germination and yield increase in yield by 74% (
from 73.5 to 128 centners/ha).
In extreme conditions of 2010 vegetation season, Albit allowed to get economically
important crop yield in the European part of Russia. The application of Albit
together with chemical pesticides allowed to obtain the maximum yield of barley
73 centner/ha, winter wheat 59 c/ha, winter rye 36 c/ha at "Kuteminskaya
Agrofirm", Tatarstan under extremely hot and dry conditions (air temperature
+33 ... +35 °C, the soil temperature up to 75 °C, no precipitation since March).
The difference with the control variant (without Albit) reached to 12 c/ha.
The increase of pea yield was 43% (5.1 c/ha).
A similar peak drought has been registered in Western Siberia in 2012. Pre-sowing
seed’ treatment of spring wheat with Albit provided yield increase of 66% (from
9 to 15 c/ha) in Teterin’s farm (Kozhevnikovsky rayon, Tomsk oblast)
under the described abnormal conditions.
Earlier, under the drought conditions of 2003 Albit improved drought resistance
of plants, and thus high yields of grain (50-70 centner/ha) were obtained at
the farms of Krasnodar kraj. This crop yield was at the level of non- droughty
According to data of Kurgan Research Institute of Grain Growing, even in extremely
drought summer of 1998, Albit treatment provided spring wheat yield increase
of 2.3 c/ha (19.8%), whereas treatment with chemical seed treatment agent based
on a.i. tiabendazole and flutriafol did not give any effect. Analogously in
trials of Kurgan Regional Plant Protection Station (2000) in farm Lebyazhevskoe,
the biological efficacy of Albit against root rots of wheat was 83% and yield
increase was 2 c/ha (16.7%) despite extremely adverse conditions (slow and
cold spring, hot and drought first half of summer).
Joint trial of Buryatia Regional Plant Protection Station and
Buryatia Institute of Agriculture (2003) on spring wheat var. Selenga was performed
almost under the same conditions (slow spring with returning cold,
drought, etc.). In result of trial, biological efficiency of Albit
(30 ml/t of seeds) against root rots was 65% and yield increased by 15.6% (i.e.
1 c/ha; yield in control – 6.4 c/ha).
In trials of Penza regional plant protection station on spring wheat and barley
(1998), there were no precipitations for two months - from sowing till EC stage
71-72 while the temperature was 30-32°C. But anyway, Albit-treated plants (comparing
to control set) had more intensive coloration, higher stem density and no cases
of ear emptiness.
Under drought conditions of Stavropol region, farmers (farms Bryzgalin, Uvarov,
Khizhnyak) have been harvesting stably 5-8 c/ha increased yield during 3 years
due to application of Albit.
Due to induction of drought resistance, relative effectiveness of Albit (%
of yield increase) under drought conditions generally is higher
than under normal conditions. For example, here are the data of several
- Trials of All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding
were performed in 2001 and 2003. 2001 was drought, in Moscow region, but
in this year the average yield increase over control (for vegetables) was
4-30% higher than in normal 2003;
- In trial of Institute of Plant Physiology of RAS (2000), Albit treatment
accompanied with watering provided yield increase of 13-17% over control,
whereas yield increase without watering was 50-195% over control;
- In field trials of All-Russia Institute of Leguminous and Groat Crops,
presowing treatment of pea seeds var. Orlus Truzhenik and Vega provided
additional yield of 9.4-14.7% in dry 2002, whereas in normal 2001 it
was only 7.9-9.3%;
- In trials of All-Russia Institute of Agrochemistry and Ryazan Regional Plant
Protection Station, Albit presowing treatment of spring wheat provided the
average yield increase of 23.8% in dry 1998, and only 13.6% in normal 1997.
In further trials in different regions of Russia, it was found that besides
drought and high temperature resistance, Albit also improves resistance to
other stresses (temperature changes, cooling, overmoistening, chemical
stresses caused by pesticides, etc.). Thus, increase of drought resistance
is a particular case of antistress activity of Albit.
In medical terms, stress is the disruption of homeostasis through physical
or psychological stimuli. Under influence of different adverse factors, organism
responds with similar biochemical changes directed to overcoming of these factors
through appropriate adaptation. The term 'stress' in this context was coined
by Austro-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye in 1936 with regard to humans
and animals, but now it is being used more widely with regard to animals, plants,
microorganisms and ecosystems. Factors inflicted stress were called ‘stressors’.
Albit helps plants to adapt to adverse environmental conditions, therefore
it may be called adaptogen or antistressor.
In general, Albit is effective for overcoming of the following stress factors:
Especially pronounced antistress activity of Albit can
be seen at foliar spraying of winter cereals in EC stages 20-29 (tillering).
Plants weakened by winter, herbicides and root rots respond to Albit with
dramatic yield increase (up to 10 c/ha under field conditions).
One important fact testifying to adaptogenic activity of Albit with regard
to wide spectrum of stress factors is high reproducibility of its action under
different conditions. Antistress activity is one of the most important properties
of the biostimulant, therefore Albit may be considered antistressor as well
as plant growth regulator and immunizer.