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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327136

Research Project: Biocontrol of Aflatoxin and Other Mycotoxins in Maize Using Non-toxigenic Strains of Aspergillus flavus

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: A liquid bioplastic formulation for film coating of agronomic seeds

Author
item ACCINELLI, CESARE - University Of Bologna
item Abbas, Hamed
item Little, Nathan
item Kotowicz, Jeremy
item MENCARELLI, MARIANGELA - University Of Bologna
item SHIER, THOMAS - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Crop Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2016
Publication Date: 11/1/2016
Citation: Accinelli, C., Abbas, H.K., Little, N., Kotowicz, J.K., Mencarelli, M., Shier, T.W. 2016. A liquid bioplastic formulation for film coating of agronomic seeds. Crop Protection. 89:123-128.

Interpretive Summary: A liquid formulation that is Corn Starch-Based called bioplastic has been developed to carry microbes and compounds that are used to control plant pests. This study showed that this new method can be used to coat corn and Canola seeds. The current seed coating, which is a commercial chemical, is not more effective concerning-seed germination and initial growth. The new method also produces less dust when applied to seeds, reducing dust-related problems for users. This information is useful for seed companies and researchers in seed treatments and seed coating.

Technical Abstract: Interest in industrial and domestic applications of biodegradable plastics from renewable sources is increasing, but their use in agriculture is still limited (e.g., mulching films, plant pots, and plant clips). However, a sprayable liquid bioplastic formulation was recently evaluated for application of microbial biocontrol agents to agricultural and horticultural crops. In this study that bioplastic formulation has been evaluated for use in film-coating seeds of two agronomic species, corn and canola. Bioplastic seed coating was achieved using procedures and equipment designed for commercial polymer film-coating of tablets. Germination of both species was unaffected by the thin bioplastic coating. Bioplastic coatings containing spores of the plant-growth promoting fungus, Trichoderma harzianum, significantly stimulated the growth of corn and canola seeds. In corn seedlings, shoot and root lengths were 29% and 44% longer, respectively, in seeds coated with T. harzianum-containing bioplastic than in uncoated seeds. Similarly, in canola seedlings shoot and root lengths were 19% and 20% longer, respectively, in seeds coated with T. harzianum-containing bioplastic than in uncoated seeds. In a paper-roll assay, including T. harzianum spores prevented reduced germination caused by a mixture of the insecticide imidacloprid and the fungicide metalaxyl-M in bioplastic seed coatings. Coating-derived dust is a practical concern for non-target insects, when pesticides such as neonicotinoid insecticides are included in seed coatings. The adhesive and plastic properties of bioplastic reduced dust-off from bioplastic-coated seeds by 96% in corn and 99% in canola compared to seeds coated with a commercial polymer.