Considered a critical initial developmental stage in the lifecycle, germination ensues when suitable conditions initiate the reanimation of the previously dormant seed. Typically, this occurs in warm, moist conditions wherein imbibition (hydration) of the grain occurs and the seed swells undergoing several cellular level changes, initiating growth and development.
The influences of moisture, temperature and light on germination is well known and has been well researched and reviewed. What is becoming more heavily researched is the effect of microbiology on germination.
Plants host a varied population of microorganisms, termed as plant microbiota, that they grow and develop in association with. As more studies are released it is becoming increasingly apparent the role the individual plants microbiota plays in growth and pathogen infection.
Germinating seeds are usually colonized by soil-borne and seed-borne micro-organisms and form part of the primary inoculum for the seedling. Plant growth promoting bacteria in the rhizosphere are reported to influence and regulate plant physiology and growth by secreting extracellular molecules like plant hormones and signal compounds, while others increase nutrient acquisition as a means of affecting growth. The plant growth hormones considered most vital in germination are Gibberellin and Abscisic acid.
Gibberellins are one plant growth regulator that plant growth promoting bacteria (rhizobacteria) produce and has an important role in promoting growth and regulating essential processes like seed germination, root growth, root hair concentration, elongation of stems and leaf development. Rhizobacteria presence has also been correlated to the biosynthesis of Abscisic acid, with the modulative properties of rhizobacteria on these plant hormone levels in plant tissue, having an effect similar to external application of phytohormones to the plants. The correlation between rhizobacteria and plant growth promoting hormones is likely what affects the positive correlation between their application and increased germination percentages.
The ability of beneficial microbes to stimulate and increase germination is worthy of our attention, because of the gains it brings to the Agricultural industry. Higher and more predictable germination percentages have been recorded in numerous studies across multiple plant species, as a direct result of increased microbial growth. Seed inoculation treatment even at lower concentrations (1-2% in water) has shown increased germination percentages and reduced germination times, with quick seed submersion (5 minutes) showing higher responses than longer durations of exposure (24 hours). Along with enhanced germination speed and percentages, treatment with beneficial microbes significantly influences the physical growth parameters of germinating seedlings, such as shoot and root length, leaf number and vigour. As can be seen by research currently performed, the microbiota that inoculates the seed impacts it and in due course is responsible for plants fitness.
Germination is a key part of a plants development and occurs when adequate conditions for that crop occur. It is adequately documented, the affect light, temperature and moisture has on germination. Research over the years has also demonstrated the importance of the microbiology. The inoculation of the seed occurs from micro-organisms present in the soil and on the seeds surface. To ensure you get the maximum benefits on germination and growth provided by these rhizo-organism, it is advantageous to provide the right biology during this important early developmental stage. Novum Lifesciences invested decades researching our strains and combined them for the specific benefit of germination and growth in our unique Endo-Fight 3-in-1™ and Endo-Fight 5-in-1™.