DOI: 10.3390/plants12163016 ISSN:

Spectroscopic Analyses Highlight Plant Biostimulant Effects of Baker’s Yeast Vinasse and Selenium on Cabbage through Foliar Fertilization

Ștefan-Ovidiu Dima, Diana Constantinescu-Aruxandei, Naomi Tritean, Marius Ghiurea, Luiza Capră, Cristian-Andi Nicolae, Victor Faraon, Constantin Neamțu, Florin Oancea
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

The main aim of this study is to find relevant analytic fingerprints for plants’ structural characterization using spectroscopic techniques and thermogravimetric analyses (TGAs) as alternative methods, particularized on cabbage treated with selenium–baker’s yeast vinasse formulation (Se-VF) included in a foliar fertilizer formula. The hypothesis investigated is that Se-VF will induce significant structural changes compared with the control, analytically confirming the biofortification of selenium-enriched cabbage as a nutritive vegetable, and particularly the plant biostimulant effects of the applied Se-VF formulation on cabbage grown in the field. The TGA evidenced a structural transformation of the molecular building blocks in the treated cabbage leaves. The ash residues increased after treatment, suggesting increased mineral accumulation in leaves. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) evidenced a pectin–Iα-cellulose structure of cabbage that correlated with each other in terms of leaf crystallinity. FTIR analysis suggested the accumulation of unesterified pectin and possibly (seleno) glucosinolates and an increased network of hydrogen bonds. The treatment with Se-VF formulation induced a significant increase in the soluble fibers of the inner leaves, accompanied by a decrease in the insoluble fibers. The ratio of soluble/insoluble fibers correlated with the crystallinity determined by XRD and with the FTIR data. The employed analytic techniques can find practical applications as fast methods in studies of the effects of new agrotechnical practices, while in our particular case study, they revealed effects specific to plant biostimulants of the Se-VF formulation treatment: enhanced mineral utilization and improved quality traits.

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