Shanmugam Munisamy


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Torggården, Kudalsveien 6, NO-8027 Bodø

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Currently global seaweed industries are facing issue with availability of raw material for processing of carrageenan due to low growth of current planting material. Use of biostimulants in seaweed cultivation is recently paid more attention due to their proven biostimulatory effect, of which, Ascophyllum marine plant extract powder (AMPEP) is a well proven biostimulant to improve the growth and quality of Kappaphycus alvarezii biomass. Hence, 500 kg of AMPEP was purchased and studied its impact on the commercial farming of K. alvarezii from April 2018 to January 2022 in India. Vegetative propagule of K. alvarezii were dipped in an AMPEP with concentration range of: 0.025, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20 and 0.25 % for 30, 60, 90 and 120 min. Before out-planting on rafts in shallow coastal water and found that K. alvarezii responded well to a 0.1 % solution with dipping time of 60 min. The percentage of average daily growth rate (ADGR%) of AMPEP-treated plant in a 45 d grow out period was 3.50 ± 0.50 % vs a control of 1.75 ± 0.25 % for the summer and pre-monsoon months (p < 0.05) but no statistically significant differences between the treated and control plants were found during the rainy and winter seasons. Treated plants were found with low incidence of epiphytes, and disease as compared to control plants. The general appearance and health of treated Kappaphycus was good with significant differences in the yield and quality of semi-refined carrageenan (SRC) and dry weed quality (p < 0.05). The cost of AMPEP for producing of additional 1 kg of dry Kappaphycus was 0.066USD. Results of the present study is very encouraging and AMPEP can be used for the production of K. alvarezii biomass for industrial and biorefinery processing as it has been witnessed that there was 16.66 % increase in biomass production in 2021in India.