S0 W50 Bs5w0

Figure 1. Effect of lumichrome on dry matter yield of selected legume and cereals harvested at 11 (cowpea), 23 (soybean and maize) or 37 (sorghum) days after planting. S-0 W-O = control; S-0 W-5 = watered with but not soaked in 5 nM lumichrome; S-0 W-50 = watered with 50 nM; S-5 W-O = soaked in lumichrome for 2 h only.

Cowpea Soybean Maize Sorghum

Figure 1. Effect of lumichrome on dry matter yield of selected legume and cereals harvested at 11 (cowpea), 23 (soybean and maize) or 37 (sorghum) days after planting. S-0 W-O = control; S-0 W-5 = watered with but not soaked in 5 nM lumichrome; S-0 W-50 = watered with 50 nM; S-5 W-O = soaked in lumichrome for 2 h only.

Maize and sorghum plants were similarly treated with 5 nM lumichrome. As with cowpea and soybean, the application of this compound significantly enhanced growth of the two cereal species. In maize, total leaf area per plant increased significantly by 26%, shoot dry matter by 36% and total biomass by 23% in lumichrome-treated plants compared to control (Figure 1). Soaking cowpea seeds in 5 nM lumichrome before planting caused a significant 33% and 18% increase in shoot and root biomass, respectively. Watering seedlings with 5 nM lumichrome also promoted 40% increase in sorghum shoot growth at 37 d.

Taken together, these data indicate that lumichrome has a growth-promoting effect on a wide range of plants including legumes and cereals. It is therefore likely that the robust growth of symbiotic legumes is due partly to the positive effects of lumichrome released by rhizobia in addition to improved N nutrition.

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