How Chitosan Can Stimulate Growth in the Agriculture Industry

Chitosan is the marine polysaccharide that powers Primex products. Proven to be a highly efficient natural, bioactive fibrous polymer, chitosan has over 400 applications, including for plants and the agricultural industry.

Chitosan has many unique qualities, among them a bioactive, cationic nature and antimicrobial, fungicidal and antioxidant activity. This makes chitosan suitable for use as a natural elicitor, preservative agent and nutritional ingredient for plants and crops.

Chitosan's natural qualities are similar to plant sugars, encouraging bioactive effects within the plant on a molecular level that can stimulate beneficial microorganisms while simultaneously inhibiting pathogens. Chitosan has the ability to trigger the plant's immune response, activating its defense mechanisms and inducing numerous biological reactions.

Chitosan as a natural biomolecule elicitor:

  • stimulates plant's immune response
  • helps fruit growth and promotes sap, resin and essential oil production
  • is biodegradable as it contains breakable glycosidic bonds
  • improves plant health and increases resilience
  • can replace synthetic pesticides
  • reduces transpiration without lowering crop output

In addition, chitosan has shown excellent mechanical properties, meaning it can incorporate or deliver functional substances, treating soil with nutrients, vitamins and antimicrobial agents. This can prove effective in reducing the need for potentially harmful chemical pesticides and replacing them with natural, biocompatible chitosan-based products that can provide controlled agrochemical release.

Chitosan as a natural biopesticide:

  • reduces the need for chemical fertilizers
  • inhibits pathogens and pests
  • has antifungal activity protecting seeds and roots
  • has positive effect on germination rate
  • stimulates plant growth and increases crop productivity

Thanks to its exceptional antimicrobial and film-forming activities, chitosan can be used post-harvest as a biopesticide to combat diseases, while it can also be used as a natural preservative coating agent. As chitosan is known to bind mycotoxins, it protects plant tissue from being damaged by toxins and works to better control and manage plant pathogens.

Chitosan formulations

Chitosan can be formulated into powders, sprays and solutions that can coat and protect seeds, roots and crops from deteriorating microorganisms, mold, viruses and bacteria, even frost. It can be applied at low rates with positive results, making it an economical and convenient alternative to chemical products. It has been used effectively for plants and crops such as cotton, tomato, wheat, soybean, maize, lentils, rice and peanuts.