Cannabis production can be a very intensive business we are always trying to get better quality and better yield leading to better profitability or personal stash.
Every growers dream is to produce that perfect crop however often the use of fertilisers is not enough.
The basic component of living cells is Proteins. Proteins are formed by a sequence of Amino Acids. Plants synthesise Amino Acids from the Primary elements, the Carbon and Oxygen obtained from air, Hydrogen from water in the medium, which forms Carbon Hydrates by means of photosynthesis and combining it with the Nitrogen which the plants obtain from the soil/nutrient mix, leading to synthesis of amino acids. An important note is Only L-Amino Acids are part of these Proteins and have metabolic activity.
Theoretically, the number of possible amino acids in nature is infinite. However, for plant nutrition purposes, the relevant amino acids are L-Alfa types in which the R generic radical is substituted by a Hydrogen one
Amino acids are organic substances formed by an asymmetrical carbon atom that is joined to:
-An Amine group –NH2
-A Carboxylic group –COOH
-Two radicals –R and R´ characteristic of each amino acid
About 20 important Amino Acids are involved in the process of each function. Studies have proved that Amino Acids can directly or indirectly influence the physiological activities of the plant. Amino Acids are also supplied to plant by incorporating them into the soil. It helps in improving the micro flora of the soil thereby facilitating the assimilation of nutrients. Foliar Nutrition in the form of Protein Hydrolysate (Known as Amino Acids Liquid) and foliar spray provide ready made building blocks for Protein synthesis.
L and D amino acids
Stereochemistry is important in living organisms because its properties can change depending on the spatial distribution of its atomic components. All amino acids, with the exception of glycine (which does not have asymmetric carbon), can be found in both L and D forms, in function of the spatial disposition of the groups that join asymmetric carbon. This disposition diverts polarised light in one way or another. This optical characteristic is what divides amino acids into L or D. Only L-amino acids form part of the proteins utilised by plants and promote changes in plant metabolic activity.
Total Amino Acids:
All amino acids are found as either free form, peptide or protein form:
- Free Amino Acids: Free amino acids are individualised in monomer form and not bound to another by peptic unions. Due to their lower molecular weight, plants assimilate this form of amino acids the most quickly and their effects on the metabolic processes of the plant are the most profound. As such, free amino acids are of primary importance in plant nutrition.
- Peptides: When two or more amino acids are bound to one another (by peptic union), they form a peptide. The greater the length of the peptide (more amino acids bound together), the more difficult the direct assimilation by plants.
- Proteins: The joining of different chains of polypeptides forms a protein. The structural units of proteins are amino acids joined in a sequence and characteristic order of each type of protein.
Effects of photosynthesis:
Photosynthesis is a plant’s most metabolically important pathway. Through it, a plant synthesises sugars from carbon dioxide, water and luminous energy. These sugars (carbohydrates) are the source of energy for a plant’s other metabolic processes. A low photosynthetic rate caused by stress can decrease a plant’s growth.
Glycine and glutamic acid are fundamental metabolites in the formation of vegetable tissue and chlorophyll synthesis. These amino acids raise the concentration of chlorophyll in plants. This increases the absorption of luminous energy, which leads to greater degrees of photosynthesis.
Effect on stomata:
Stomata are cellular structures that control a plant’s hydro balance, as well as the absorption of gases and macro and micro nutrients. A stoma’s openings are controlled by external factors (light, moisture, temperature and concentration of salts), and by internal factors (amino acid concentration, abscisic acid, etc.).
Stomata close when light and moisture are low, and temperature and salt concentration are high. When stomata close, photosynthesis and transpiration (low macro and micro nutrient absorption) are reduced, and respiration is increased. When this occurs, a plant’s metabolic balance is negative. This causes metabolism to decrease and plant growth to stop. L- glutamic acid acts as an osmotic agent for the protective cells cytoplasm, which favors the opening of stomata.
Amino acids have a chelating effect for micronutrients. When jointly applied with micro elements, their absorption and transportation inside the plant simplifies. This is caused by chelation and membrane permeability. L-glycine and L-glutamic acid amino acids are known as very effective chelating agents.
Amino acids and phytohormones:
Amino acids are the precursors or activators of phytohormones and growth substances. L-Methionine is a precursor of ethylene and other growth factors such as spermine and spermidine, which are synthesised from 5-adenosyl methionine.
L-tryptophan is a precursor of auxin synthesis. L-tryptophan is used in plants only in its L-form. L-tryptophan is available only if protein hydrolysis used in its extraction / manufacture is carried out by enzymes. When L-tryptophan is produced using most common industrial processes, this important amino acid is destroyed.
Stress such as High temperature, Low humidity, Frost, Pest attack, Hailstorm, Floods have a negative effect on plant metabolism with a corresponding reduction in crop quality and quantity. The application of Amino Acids before, during and after the stress conditions supplies the plants with Amino Acids which are directly related to stress physiology and thus has a preventing and recovering effect.
Pollination and fruit formation:
Pollination is the transportation of pollen to the carpel that makes fecundation and fruit formation possible.
L-proline helps pollen fertility. L-lysine, L-methionine, and L-glutamic acid are essential amino acids for pollination. These amino acids increase pollen germination and the length of the pollen tube.
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