New sap tool for horticulture and fruit

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A new plant health test offered by Eurofins Agro UK can identify nutrients in cytoplasm and vascular bundles. PlantSapCheck offers growers an accurate way to identify the nutrient composition of plant material, as Eurofins Agro UK specialist Shane Brewer explains:

“We now have the technology in our UK laboratories to test pressed plant material that has been frozen and thawed. This analysis determines all the nutrients in the sap and the cytoplasm to provide a picture of plant nutrient uptake.”

Using just 200 grams of fresh plant material, the test shows the dynamics of nutrient uptake in the sap flow and cellular fluid.

“This provides a snapshot in time and identifies key markers for plant health, like calcium, which will help to manage a nutrient input programme for horticulture and fruit crops,” says Mr Brewer.

He further suggests that being able to accurately chart how calcium is taken up by the plant will help growers take actions to improve the firmness of a plant’s cell wall and cell membrane.

“Calcium forms the bridges between pectin chains and cell walls, which directly impact on the firmness and permeability of the cell. Knowing how this is tracking in real time, with test results provided in five days or less, will help growers to make decisions that can save time and money whilst also providing better quality plants and fruit,” he adds.

The report provided by Eurofins’ laboratories in the UK will also offer benchmark figures that have been generated using target values gathered from thousands of tests worldwide.

“We are a network of over 900 labs and data is shared globally to offer greater insight to each individual test report. Target values for calcium, pH, ammonium, potassium and more, are all offered to help growers understand how their plants are performing,” says Mr Brewer.

The new plant sap test complements the already available dry matter test to offer growers the data to correlate the two indicators of plant health. The dry leaf tissue analysis will also take place in the UK, meaning results will be delivered faster to growers.

“We now have the technology and resources to offer plant sap and dry leaf tissue analysis, in the UK, which will help our growers to check the progress of their crops more easily and frequently by submitting an online request via their portal or the website,” he concludes.

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