July 5, 2016

The science

Wool is made up of the protein, keratin, which itself is made of amino acids. Amino acids are the primary components in the machinery of cells, both in humans and in plants. 

Plants synthesise amino acids from primary elements: carbon and oxygen are obtained from air, and hydrogen is obtained from water in the soil. These form carbon hydrate by means of photosynthesis and this combines with nitrogen which the plants obtain from the soil. This, in turn leads to the synthesis of amino acids via various biochemical reactions. Being a source of nitrogen and completely biodegradable, amino acids themselves, are therefore fertilisers.

Amino acids are fundamental ingredients in the process of protein synthesis. Around 20 important amino acids are involved in the process of each function. Studies have proven that amino acids can directly or indirectly influence the physiological activities of plants.

Amino acids are also supplied to plants by incorporating them into the soil. They help in improving the microflora of the soil by facilitating the assimilation of nutrients and are directly absorbed through the roots.

 

Independent studies – benefits of amino acids

The benefits of amino acids for plants are numerous and have been studied by several research groups over the years. The summary below is extracted from peer-reviewed scientific articles, but is by no means comprehensive. If you would like to learn more, we have included references at the bottom of the page.

Amino acids help plants combat stress, increase root mass, activate natural defence mechanisms in plants, and enhance photosynthesis by increasing the chlorophyll concentration. They also promote nutrient absorption and stimulate the essential metabolic activities in the plant.

Amino acids also improve the beneficial microflora in various ways such as by strengthening the outer walls, allowing them to withstand harsher conditions. Happier, stronger microbial colonies help produce better nutrient uptake, as well as a more extensive and healthier root system that can fight diseases and maintain effectiveness in adverse environmental conditions.

It takes energy for plants to synthesise the amino acids required to create those cells. Providing plants with supplementary amino acids save plants energy, which they can utilise elsewhere. This helps maintain not only vigorous growth but pest and disease resistance as well.

References

SH SADAK, M., Abdelhamid, M.T. and Schmidhalter, U., 2015. Effect of foliar application of aminoacids on plant yield and some physiological parameters in bean plants irrigated with seawater. Acta Biológica Colombiana20(1), pp.141-152.

Liu, X.Q. and Lee, K.S., 2012. Effect of mixed amino acids on crop growth. Agricultural Science, pp.119-158.

Cao, X., Ma, Q., Zhong, C., Yang, X., Zhu, L., Zhang, J., Jin, Q. and Wu, L., 2016. Elevational variation in soil amino acid and inorganic nitrogen concentrations in Taibai Mountain, China. PloS one11(6), p.e0157979.

Popko, M., Michalak, I., Wilk, R., Gramza, M., Chojnacka, K. and Górecki, H., 2018. Effect of the new plant growth biostimulants based on amino acids on yield and grain quality of winter wheat. Molecules23(2), p.470.

Jämtgård, S., 2010. The occurrence of amino acids in agricultural soil and their uptake by plants (Vol. 2010, No. 27).

Wang, G., Xu, M., Wang, W. and Galili, G., 2017. Fortifying horticultural crops with essential amino acids: a review. International journal of molecular sciences18(6), p.1306.