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August 21, 2016 / Article

ABSTRACT: Thermal imaging of soybean response to drought stress: the effect of Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extract

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Previous experiments have demonstrated positive effect of Acadian® extract of Ascophyllum nodosum on plant stress-resistance, however the mode of action is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to understand the physiological effect of Acadian® seaweed extract on the plant response to drought stress. Leaf temperature and leaf angle were measured as early-stage indicators of plant stress with thermal imaging “in situ” over a 5-day stress-recovery trial. The early stress-response of control became visible on the third day as a rapid wilting of leaves, accompanied with the asymptotic increase of leaf temperature on 4–5 °C to the thermal equilibrium with ambient air temperature. At the same time Acadian® treated plants still maintained turgor, accompanied with the linear increase in leaf temperature, which indicated better control of stomatal closure. Re-watering on the fifth day showed better survival of treated plants compared to control. This study demonstrated the ability of Acadian® seaweed extract to improve resistance of soybean plants to water stress.