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Public Defence Jing Li – February 20, 2024

Public Defence Jing Li – February 20, 2024

Public Defence Jing Li – February 20, 2024

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Title of the doctoral dissertation: Biostimulant discovery from agricultural biomass

The public defence will take place on 20th February 2024 at 5.00 pm in Academieraadzaal A
0.030 (room A0.1 Azalea) (ground floor in Block A) at Campus Coupure,
Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent.

Abstract of the doctoral research
There is a rising demand for sustainable solutions in agriculture to secure crop
productivity and food quality in the face of climate change and reduced agrochemical
input. Biomolecules have been proclaimed as one of the most promising agricultural
biologicals thanks to their rich resources and dynamic bioactivities. Biostimulants of
biological origins harness the richness and diversity of biomolecules to improve plant
growth, nutrient use efficiency, and abiotic stress resilience. Significant progress has been
made in recent decades in this burgeoning market, nonetheless, the theoretical product
development process remains unexplicit and isolated from the expanding body of
research that hampers its commercial potential. This doctoral thesis addressed the
abovementioned issues and provided referable case studies.
In Chapter 1, we review the translational process of developing extract-based
biostimulants from biomass with a focus on mixture forms. Chapter 2 is a systematic
review of the field effectiveness of biostimulant application on crop yield improvement.
In Chapter 3, we report on the presence of bioactive compounds for biostimulant and
biopesticide activity.in maize distillers’ dried grains with solubles. Chapter 4 reports on
the Bio2Bio screening platform and development of a bioactivity library with the aim of
identifying novel biostimulants lead products for improving Arabidopsis fertility. Chapter
5 illustrates biostimulant activity in sunflower bark extract. As a follow-up work, different
sunflower biomass was selected, and twin-screw extrusion settings were tested to
optimize extraction of bioactive material (Chapter 6). General conclusions and future
perspectives (Chapter 7) discusses the challenges, limitations, and research plans of
biostimulant development. The screening and development of biostimulants generated
valuable insights into outlining a discovery roadmap and application management for
producers and growers