Individual Research Project 9: Biostimulant-based seed priming for improved crop growth and stress tolerance under the supervision of Dr Sujeeth Neerakkal, BioAtlantis Ltd. and Dr Sara Farrona, Centre for Plant and Agricultural Biosciences-Ryan Institute at the University of Galway (NUI Galway), Galway, Ireland.

The aiming of the project is to develop a novel, adaptive and sustainable seed priming technology for the seed industry and crop growers. Certain chemical and biological seed treatments can elicit ‘priming memory’ at the epigenetic level leading to enhanced survival of crops under adverse environmental conditions. BioAtlantis Ltd., has recently identified naturally-derived bioactive molecules that can prime crops and act as plant oxidative stress inhibitors. This novel priming technology is proven to protect crops from adverse weather induced damages (abiotic stress) for a period of 10-14 days post application, leading to better crop yield and quality.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to assess the efficacy of hydro/osmopriming and seed coating techniques in the presence of natural compounds isolated from macro and microalgae, plant extracts, small organic molecules and essential trace elements.
  • To undertaken germination, vigour, emergence-tests and field trials producing phenotyping and physiological data from different species (B. napus, tomato) under control and stress conditions.
  • To elucidate seed priming mechanisms by working with experts in molecular priming and epigenetics in crop plants.
  • To obtain via OMICs approaches (transcriptomics and epigenomics – ChIP-seq/BS-seq) an in-depth understanding of seed priming and germination mechanisms.

The outcomes will be:

  1. a greater scientific understanding of molecular mechanisms of seed priming,
  2. new products to enhance agricultural sustainability in the face of climate change, and
  3. novel tools for efficient priming against abiotic stress.

Active collaborations with partners at Univseristy of Galway (Ireland), DSV (Germany), ENS (France) and UZH, (Switzerland) and others to get not only specific training in molecular approaches but also intellectual input that will be valuable to the progress of the project.

BioAtlantis-Host company

BioAtlantis (BioAt) commenced in 2004, and entered the crop biostimulant market in 2007. BioAtlantis provides novel biostimulant based technologies to induce stress-protective mechanisms and help crops reach their genetic potential. The company has pioneered an innovative technology to prime and protect crops from oxidative stress and improve fruit-set. As a testament to its growth, BioAtlantis commissioned a new seaweed extraction and production facility in 2019, the largest in the north western Europe. Over 85 peer reviewed publications have been published to date on BioAtlantis’ products and formulations. We have a proven track record in scientific leadership, involved in a number of EU FP7 and H2020 projects and are currently collaborating with >40 universities worldwide.

Over 85 peer reviewed publications have been published to date on BioAtlantis’ products and formulations. BioAtlantis’s vision is to become a global brand leader in plant biostimulant and nutraceutical technology, exporting innovative products to global markets and providing sustainable solutions to climate change-associated stresses.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions, or do you require additional information? Please contact: Dr Sujeeth Neerakkal;