In 2013, Novozymes BioAg introduced the LCO (lipo chitooligosaccharide), Penicillium bilaiae
combination product labeled Junpstart LCO. Jumpstart LCO combined two unique seed treatment products to create synergy in early root growth in addition to quick emergence, early vigour, greater stress tolerance, and earlier, more even maturity. The Penicillium bilaiae
also promotes greater phosphate use efficiency by colonizing on plant roots, releasing organic compounds that release the "bound" mineral forms of less available soil and fertiliser phosphate, making it immediately available for the crop to use. Both products are widely used on numerous crops such as soybean (Glycine max
), canola (Brassica napus L.
), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum
), lentils (Lens culinaris
), alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
and as in the case of this study, maize (Zea mays
). The intent of the study was to identify and measure the response of maize seedlings to the application of Jumpstart LCO compared to an untreated check.
Greenhouse seed treatment showed increased leaf chlorophyll and overall plant dry weight for maize seedlings. In addition, seedlings were scanned for root area, diameter and length with very significant responses to the treatment. In replicated field trials, maize seed treated with LCO helped increase yield. In 2012, the average yield increase recorded from Novozymes testing sites was a significant response of 3.34 bu/ac (+2%) against the untreated check. Improvement in emergence, early seedling vigor and overall plant dry biomass from LCO treatment of the seed together led to higher plant vigor and potential yield