Chitosan as a Growth Enhancer and Seed Treatment
In agriculture, Chitosan is used primarily as a natural seed treatment and plant growth enhancer as well as an ecologically friendly biopesticide substance that boosts the innate ability of plants to defend themselves against fungal infections.
The natural biocontrol active ingredients (chitin and chitosan) are found in the shells of crustaceans, such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. It is one of the most abundant biodegradable materials in the world.
Chitosan applications for use on organic certified farms and crops are regulated by the EPA, and the USDA National Organic Program.
Chitosan active biopesticides characteristics represent a new tier of cost-effective biological control of crops for agriculture and horticulture as it elicits natural innate defense responses within plant to resist insects, pathogens, and soil-borne diseases when applied to foliage or the soil.
The other benefits of Chitosan include increasing photosynthesis process, promotes and enhances plant growth, stimulates nutrient uptake, increases germination and sprouting, and boosts plant vigor. When used as seed treatment or seed coating on cotton, corn, seed potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, tomatoes, wheat and many other seeds, it elicits an innate immunity response in developing roots which destroys parasitic cyst nematodes without harming beneficial nematodes and organisms.
Agricultural applications of chitosan can reduce environmental stress due to drought and soil deficiencies, strengthen seed vitality, improve stand quality, increase yields, and reduce fruit decay of vegetables, fruits and citrus crops.
Horticultural applications of chitosan increases blooms and extends the life of cut flowers.
Given its low potential for toxicity and its abundance in the natural environment, chitosan does not harm people, pets, wildlife, or the environment.
6. Chitosan Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance. US-EPA. (1995)