Layne Ellen Harris, Alltech Inc, Nicholasville, KY and Kristen M Brennan, Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY
Early root growth is essential for healthy crops and abundant yields. Nutrition plays a vital role in the development of features associated with optimal plant growth and development. ACS-GS001 (Alltech Inc, Nicholasville, KY) is a yeast fermentation product shown to increase root size, plant size, and yields when applied topically in field trials. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of ACS-GS001 on early plant growth and development and tissue gene expression. Maize was treated with 236.6 mL/acre of ACS-GS001 during the V6 growth stage. At 3 weeks and 7 weeks post application, tissue was collected from 10 random treatment (TRT) plants, and 10 random untreated (CON) plants. Gene expression was measured using real time PCR. Levels of target gene mRNA relevant to plant growth and signaling, including ARF, and early root and leaf development including IAA5 were measured. CDK served as Housekeeping Gene. Corn treated with ACS-GS001 had increased root length (P<0.001), plant height (P<0.001), and ear size (P= 0.03) in the treatment group as compared to the control. IAA5 increased 1.40 - fold (P=0.03) in TRT week 3 leaf and increased 1.32 fold (P=0.02) in TRT week 3 root tissue. Levels of ARF mRNA decreased 0.82-fold (P=0.069) in TRT week 3 leaf and increased 1.4-fold (P=0.01) in TRT week 3 root tissue. In this study, ACS-GS001 improved growth in corn plants. The increase in mRNA levels of these genes provides insight into a mode of action of ACS-GS001 and potential opportunities for improving corn growth.