Close-up of business partners making pile of hands at meeting

For the last 5 years Grand Harvest Research Co. has been working hard to make the world agriculture safer for the environment and human, without loss of economic efficiency in this sector.

Currently, the agriculture has a number of problems causing significant damage to the environment and human health. The most significant problems are increased use of antibiotics in plant growing sector and veterinary medicine, spread of resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria and fungi, and soil contamination with heavy metals aimed to protect plants (in particular, with copper containing in fungicides).

Thereby, specialists of the company with the participation of world authoritative scientific research institutes’ representatives have developed a safe nanosilver-based technology for protection of agricultural crops and treatment of farm animals. Silver-based preparations of the company make a significant contribution to solution of many problems in agriculture.

The idea to use silver in plant growing came to people long ago, since the unique combination of high anti-pathogenic properties and powerful elicitor and growth-stimulating action cannot help attracting the scientists in biology and agrochemistry. Each of these properties of silver is covered in detail in numerous scientific publications. But some technological problems oppose the mass introduction of silver in the plant growing practice, first of all, the requirements for such products, and, of course, the main one of such requirements is high aggregative stability. In other words, the silver-containing preparation has to maintain its activity and be compatible with other components of the tank mixture – pesticides and agrochemicals, and also has not to coagulate and precipitate. And along with this, the preparation should have high biological efficiency, long shelf life and be economically profitable for the agrobusiness.

Our specialists have viewed this problem in the context of chemistry. Thus, a technology of silver nanoparticles’ surface controlled modification was developed. This technology permits to obtain stable colloidal solutions with the necessary biological and technological characteristics.

Grand Harvest Research was the first in the world who has solved the described technological problems in its preparations and made a step from theory to practice. The created preparations based on silver are not just highly effective, but suitable for mass, widespread use. Nowadays, all products of the company have proved their easy use, ability to integrate into any agrotechnological scheme and stable effectiveness.

THE MECHANISM OF ACTION OF COLLOIDAL SILVER ON PLANTS

The specific action of Grand Harvest Research silver-containing line of preparations is determined by their main component – colloidal silver. Thus, it is possible to formulate the principle or mechanism of action which is common to all the mentioned products.

Also, it is necessary to note the synergistic effect characterizing the whole line: the joint action of silver ions and auxiliary components (macro- and microelements, etc.) of the preparations. Such combinations make each product of the line unique, expanding each product’s specific effect by the action of the auxiliary components.

Colloidal silver combines fungicidal and bactericidal properties, and also characteristics of an abiotic elicitor and a growth regulator. Due to this combination of properties, colloidal silver even in a small dosage (ten milligrams per hectare) in preparations Zerebra Agro and Zeromix ensures a powerful growth-stimulating and elicitor (immunizing and preventive) action. And at higher dosages (several grams per hectare), along with the elicitor and growth-stimulating action, colloidal silver demonstrates high bactericidal and fungicidal activity. Such combination of effects allows using Zeroxxe instead of many fungicides and antibiotics provided by the market.

THE GROWTH-STIMULATING ACTION

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The mechanism of growth-stimulating action of silver includes two main processes associated with the ability of silver ions to influence the activity of enzymes and membrane protein-receptors:

Due to its stronger bonds, silver replaces the copper ion in the active center of the receptor with sulfur and nitrogen, so the receptor works incorrectly. At the same time, ethylene continues to be produced in the plant, but its effects decrease.

Therefore, treatment of agricultural crops with preparations based on colloidal silver extends the growing season that contributes to yield increase.

This leads to an increase in the content of auxins – growth hormones.

Enzyme systems metabolizing phytohormones maintain a certain level of auxins’ concentration in plants. The decrease in activity of such enzyme system leads to the increase in the auxins’ concentration, although the production of auxins does not grow.

This process contributes to the stimulation of growth and development of plants, the formation of a strong root system, and the decrease in the overall effect of stress factors influencing the plant.

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THE FUNGICIDAL AND BACTERICIDAL ACTION

The fungicidal and bactericidal effect of Zerebra Agro, Zeromix and Zeroxxe is determined by the direct fungicidal and bactericidal action of the colloidal silver particles, and also by the elicitor and immunizing properties of silver.

Considering the fact that Zerebra Agro and Zeromix are used in small concentrations, it can be approved that namely the second mechanism makes a decisive contribution to the high anti-pathogenic activity of these preparations. The action of Zeroxxe, which is used in high concentration (from 3 to 12 grams of pure silver per hectare), is determined mainly by the first mechanism, which is the direct action of silver on pathogen cells.

Silver nanoparticles are selectively fixed and retained on the cell walls of phytopathogenic microorganisms. Silver nanoparticles are oxidized and for a long time they release silver ions from their surface, and their local concentration near the cell wall of the pathogenic microorganism is significantly higher than the average concentration of silver ions in the milieu.

Silver ions disrupt the normal functioning of membrane proteins, especially transport proteins, leading to the death of the pathogenic cell.

Gradual oxidation of silver nanoparticles provides prolonged action of the preparations.

Elicitor is an immunizing agent. It does not directly destroy pathogens and pests (or does not destroy being used in small doses), but affects the metabolism of the plant, so the plant begins to produce compounds which inhibit and sometimes completely stop the development of the phytopathogen. Elicitor is also colloidal silver.

The most common natural mechanism of nonspecific plant immunity is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in response to penetration of the pathogen. ROS inhibit pathogen development and participate in the formation of substances which are harmful to pathogenic cells. In extremely high concentration, with the development of a hypersensitivity reaction, ROS may cause local necrosis and drying of plant tissues in the site of the pathogen’s penetration, which prevent pathogenic spread throughout the plant.

Silver preventively increases the concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the plant, so their high concentration in its own makes it difficult to infect the plant and the pathogen in the plant is inhibited to develop. Unspecific immune system of the plant also becomes more sensitive, contributing greater release of ROS during infection.

Under the influence of stress factors and silver as an elicitor, special substances called phytoalexins are formed in plants. These complex organic substances effectively inhibit the development of pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and in some cases – pests.

Thus, colloidal silver as the main active ingredient in the preparations of Grand Harvest Research provides reliable protection of crops, stimulates growth activity, increases yield, and also significantly reduces the pesticide stress on soil and plants, and multiplies the overall profitability of agribusiness.