Effective Microorganisms and Olive Mill Wastewater Used as Biostimulants to Improve the Performance of Tanacetum balsamita L., a Medicinal Plant

APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL(2023)

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Abstract
The use of biostimulants and/or biofertilizers has acquired considerable importance and can contribute to the sustainable management agriculture, reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and water. This study aims to assess the effects of Effective Microorganisms (EM) and Olive Mill Wastewater (OMW) on the growth, photosynthetic performance and polyphenols content of the medicinal plant Tanacetum balsamita. The EM and OMW were used at two dilution rates. The EM was added to 5% v/v and 10% v/v, while OMW was added to 2.5% v/v and 5% v/v in plants at the early growth stage. After 75 days of treatment, all the treated plants had a leaf number and leaf area almost 2-fold higher than in the Control plants. Moreover, the treatments, at all the concentrations applied had a positive effect on the photosynthetic activity, with an improvement both in terms of the quantum yield of photosynthesis and electrons transport efficiency. The best photosynthetic and growth performances in the treated plants coincided with the higher production of phenolic compounds; indeed, after 75 days, the content of chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and isochlorogenic acid was even 2-fold of the Control plants. Also, rutin content was 1.28-1.50-fold respect to the Control extracts. The highest phenolic compound content was reflected by the highest antiradical activity, found in the extracts of the treated plants. The effectiveness of EM to increase the growth and quality of plants and in particular, the potential use of OMW on the cultivated crop was confirmed to this study.
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Key words
costmary,effective microorganism,olive mill wastewater,plant growth,polyphenols,trichomes,nutrient analysis,PCA
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