Conventional growers in the US have an interest in gaining back lost yield-potential from crop stress brought on by herbicide application. A grower’s yield can be put in even more danger if it is compromised by additional abiotic stresses such as temperature and water.

When a plant comes under significant stress from herbicide application, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels can increase considerably and cause cellular damage. This damage can range from slight to severe, vary by type of herbicide used, and the symptoms may be visible for a few days or through the whole growing season. Regardless of how herbicide stress presents itself, a grower needs to mitigate it and get crops back in a positive growth pattern to realize its full yield potential. One proven option is to use peptide biostimulants, which have been shown to improve resistance to abiotic stress.

What are Peptides?

Peptides are amino acids bound together in a specific sequence to form peptide chains. These fundamental components of cells carry out important biological functions. Like a lock and key system, each peptide is a “key” fitting to a specific protein receptor, “lock,” on a cell membrane that stimulates the cell’s function and affects the growth of the plant. There are hundreds of peptide hormones in the plant genome corresponding to numerous physiological functions they “unlock” including recovery from abiotic stress from herbicide application.

Improved Stress Response

Research on one biostimulant, Stimtide from Italpollina, has been shown to improve crop stress response by stimulating root growth, enhancing nitrogen uptake and chlorophyll production, and increasing the nutrient mobility in plants.

What is Stimtide?

Stimtide is a biostimulant derived from vegetal protein hydrolysate (VPH) and formulated with a high concentration of peptides. Stimtide has been shown to consistently help plants better recover from stress events by increasing antioxidant supply, stimulating antioxidant biosynthesis, and activating antioxidant defense enzymes. There are many protein hydrolysate products on the market, however, the composition of the products varies widely. With Stimtide, the concentration of peptides is the key.

Peptide Availability

The peptides in Stimtide have high availability to plants because they are in a ready-to-use form. Alternately, plants will need to exert plant energy to convert free amino acids to obtain the desired stress response.

Lateral Root Promoting Peptide (LRPP) is one of the peptides identified in Stimtide1.  It has been shown to increase root growth, stimulate fine root hair growth, and increase root capacity for nutrient uptake. This allows a plant to take in more nutrients, have better water uptake capacity from the soil, and prepare a plant to handle stress better.

According to this study, (Collat et al, 2013), the peptides in Stimtide increased the dry matter of the plant and increased the SPAD index, which is an indication of chlorophyll production in the plant. The peptides also substantially increased the foliar content of nitrogen – all indications of improved nutrient uptake and assimilation as shown in the chart below.

Less Stress with Stimtide

When a plant is under oxidative stress, malondialdehyde (MDA) is produced as a natural response. The more stress, the higher the level of MDA. High levels of MDA lead to cell membrane breakdown. In this study (Colla, University of Tuscia) we see soy and corn treated with the herbicides glyphosate and gluphosinate – with and without the addition of the peptides in Stimtide. Per the chart, the addition of peptides in Stimtide significantly reduced the level of MDA in the plants. This demonstrates the plants treated with peptides in Stimtide were under less stress.

Another way to measure crop stress is by measuring yield. The charts below summarize the results of 60 field trials over four years in various regions and multiple crops.

Stimtide has been shown to reduce stress induced by herbicide use and protect a grower’s yield. Email for more information. A generic version of this article can be found here on

1 Colla, G., Svecová, E., Cardarelli, M., Rouphael, Y., Reynaud, H., Canaguier, R. and Planques, B. (2013). EFFECTIVENESS OF A PLANT-DERIVED PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE TO IMPROVE CROP PERFORMANCES UNDER DIFFERENT GROWING CONDITIONS. Acta Hortic. 1009, 175-179 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1009.21