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Short-Chain Chitin Oligomers: Promoters of Plant Growth

AuthorsWinkler, Alexander J.; Domínguez-Núñez, José Alfonso; Aranaz, Inmaculada ; Poza-Carrión, César; Ramonell, Katrina; Somerville, Shauna; Berrocal-Lobo, Marta
Issue Date15-Feb-2017
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationMarine Drugs 15 (2): 40 (2017)
AbstractChitin is the second most abundant biopolymer in nature after cellulose, and it forms an integral part of insect exoskeletons, crustacean shells, krill and the cell walls of fungal spores, where it is present as a high-molecular-weight molecule. In this study, we showed that a chitin oligosaccharide of lower molecular weight (tetramer) induced genes in <i>Arabidopsis</i> that are principally related to vegetative growth, development and carbon and nitrogen metabolism. Based on plant responses to this chitin tetramer, a low-molecular-weight chitin mix (CHL) enriched to 92% with dimers (2mer), trimers (3mer) and tetramers (4mer) was produced for potential use in biotechnological processes. Compared with untreated plants, CHL-treated plants had increased in vitro fresh weight (10%), radicle length (25%) and total carbon and nitrogen content (6% and 8%, respectively). Our data show that low-molecular-weight forms of chitin might play a role in nature as bio-stimulators of plant growth, and they are also a known direct source of carbon and nitrogen for soil biomass. The biochemical properties of the CHL mix might make it useful as a non-contaminating bio-stimulant of plant growth and a soil restorer for greenhouses and fields.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.3390/md15020040
Identifiersdoi: 10.3390/md15020040
Appears in Collections:(CNB) Artículos
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