Paper Details


Effects of vermicompost application on soil properties and root physiological  characteristics  of flue-cured  tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) – a potential animal feed additive

Chenxi Zhang, Ziguang Huang, Bensheng Li, Yaohui Mu, Pingping Wang, Suilong Ai, Nabil S. Mustafad, Sikandar Hayat and Shuhai Bo

Flue-cured tobacco is not only a kind of economic crop, but it can also be used as a special unconventional functional feed additive, which plays an important role in animal health care. In the current study, we examined how vermicompost could promote root growth of flue-cured tobacco plants by regulating soil physical-chemical characteristics. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of different proportions of vermicompos (CK: 0%, T1: 5%, T2:10%, T3: 20%, T4: 50%, T5: 100%) on soil chemical and physical properties, root growth and physiological characteristics of flue-cured tobacco. Results showed that with increase in vermicompost dose, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic matter  (SOM) content, microbial biomass carbon (MBC) content, microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) content, and contents of glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) including total glomalin-related soil protein (T-GRSP) and easily extractable glomalin-related soil protein (EE-GRSP) increased in the tobacco planting soil, which resulted in increases in root length, fresh weight and volume of flue-cured tobacco plants. With increase in vermicompost does in soil, the root activity and nicotine content first showed an increasing trend and then a decreasing trend. All vermicompost treatments increased the plant hormonal balance i.e. ratio of indoleacetic acid (IAA) to abscisic acid (ABA) in flue-cured tobacco roots. High IAA/ABA ratio was found in the tobacco plants supplied with 5% vermicompost (T1), followed by T5 (100%) treatment. The findings showed that CEC and contents of SOM, MBC, MBN and GRSP could better reflect the effect of vermicompost on soil quality as appraised with the principal component analysis. The vermicompost treatment, i.e.T5 (100%), was the best treatment, followed by T4 (50%), T3 (20%), and T2(10%) treatments. Such improvements by applying appropriate amount of vermicompost were associated with improvement in soil fertility and structure as well as IAA/ABA hormonal regulation, cellular activity, nitrogen and carbon metabolisms in the roots of flue-cured tobacco

To Cite this article: Zhang, C., Z. Huang, B. Li, Y. Mu, P. Wang, S. Ai, N.S. Mustafad, S. Hayat and S. Bo. 2021. Effects of vermicompost application on soil properties and root physiological characteristics  of flue-cured  tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) – a potential animal feed additive. Pak. J. Bot., 53(6): DOI:

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