Effect of Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty ex silva.extract on grain quality, yield and some yield components of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)


International Journal of Plant Production 3 (2), April 2009

ISSN: 1735-6814 (Print), 1735-8043 (Online)



S.T. Zodapea, S. Mukherjeea, M.P. Reddya,*, D.R. Chaudharya

Discipline of Wasteland Research

Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar 364002, India 

(Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Delhi, India) 

Corresponding Author; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Received 7 Oct 2008; Accepted after revision 3 March 2009; Published online 28 April 2009



wheat circle 102x288A pot experiment was conducted in rabi season 2004-05 to study the effect of Kappaphycus alvarezii extract applied as a foliar spray at 0.25%, 0.50% and 1.0% on wheat. Compared to control the yield of grain increased by 80.44% when, the plants were sprayed with 1.0% K. alvarezii extract. The nutritional quality of grain such as carbohydrate, protein and minerals also improved under the influence of treatment.



 Beneficial effects from the use of seaweed extracts as natural regulators have included increased crop yield, delay of fruit senescence, improved overall plant vigour, improved yield quantity and quality, and improve ability to withstand adverse environmental conditions (Featonby-Smith and Van Staden, 1983). Application of seaweed extract asorganic biostimulant is fast becoming accepted practice in horticulture due to its beneficial effects (Verkleij, 1992). Crop cultivation using organic fertilizers has contributed for deposition of residues, improving physical and chemical properties of soil that is important for biological development (Galbiattia et al., 2007). To meet the increasing demand of organic fertilizer many viable options have to be explored (Chhaya, 1997) and one such option is use of seaweed extracts as fertilizer (Zodape, 2001). Cytokinins have been identified in some seaweed concentrates (Sanderson and Jameson 1986; Stirk and J Van Staden, 1997) and positive responses observed in different crops with the application of seaweed extracts were attributed to this (Crouch and Van Staden, 1993). Significant  increase in the yield of crops due to foliar application of seaweed extracts has reported (Zodape et al., 2008; Rathore et al., 2008; Arthur et al., 2003).


K. alvarezii extract  found to be rich in nutrients including plant growth promoting substances like IAA, kinetin, zeatine, gibberellins and never known as a fertilizer. Hence objective of this study was to exploit K. alvarezii  extract as a source of biofertilizer and wheat was chosen being the major cereal crops grown extensively throughout India.


Results and Discussion

Yield and yield attributing characteristics

The yield of grain and quality was influenced by applications of K. alvarezii extractCompared to control the yield of grain has increased irrespective of concentrations and maximum was 80.44% for the plants sprayed with 1.0 % K. alvarezii extract. The values of yield contributing characters like number, weight and length of spike as well as 100 grain weight were significantly higher for the plants received 1.0% K. alvarezii extract (see Table 2 in full report). Foliar applications of K. alvarezii extract significantly increased the biomass especially root biomass supporting that the treatment has beneficial effect on root development of the crop. This is in conformity with the results obtained for wheat by application of Biozyme (Singh and Chandel, 2005).


The increased yield and yield attributes may be due to the presence of some growth promoting substances such as IAA and IBA, gibberellins, cytokinins, micronutrients, vitamins and amino acids (Challen and Hemingway, 1966). Growth hormones like cytokinin and gibberellins have been detected in the extract of K. alvarezii which might be responsible for beneficial effects in the present study. Significant increase in seed yield of black gram (Venkataraman and Mohan, 1997) and marketable bean by 24% has been reported with the foliar application of seaweed extract (Temple and Bomke, 1989). The promotive effects of seaweed application in the present investigation might be due to increased root proliferation and establishment; thereby plants were able to mine more nutrients even from distant places and deeper soil horizons, in balanced proportion. Besides, seaweed extract, regulated the plant bio-physiological activities which collectively resulted in maintaining higher photosynthetic activities (Singh and Chandel, 2005).


Nutritive quality of grains

Compared to control, plants sprayed with 1.0% K. alvarezii extract showed increase (see Table 3 and 4 in full report) in nutritional quality of wheat as: carbohydrate, 39.20; protein, 21.74; and fat, 31.64%. Similarly macro and micro nutrients also increased in the range 15.86%- 75.02% and 1.28%-20.0% respectively under the influence of K. alvarezii extract treatment. Enhancement in the content of vitamin C, (Khemnar and Chaugule, 2000), N of beans (Beckett et al., 1994) and sugar of sugar beet (Blunden et al., 1979) has been reported with the application of seaweed extract.



This is the first report for yield and quality enhancement in wheat due to foliar application which might be due to the presence of microelements and plant growth regulators present in the extract of K. alvarezii. Hence the extract can be used as a supplemental fertilizer for various crops.


Archive of SID


98 S.T. Zodape et al. / International Journal of Plant Production (2009) 3(2): 97-101

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