Evaluation of the Biostimulant Activity of Zaxinone Mimics (MiZax) in Crop Plants

Jian You Wang, Muhammad Jamil, Md Golap Hossain, Guan Ting Erica Chen, Lamis Berqdar, Tsuyoshi Ota, Ikram Blilou, Tadao Asami, Samir Jamil Al-Solimani, Magdi Ali Ahmed Mousa, Salim Al-Babili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Global food security is a critical concern that needs practical solutions to feed the expanding human population. A promising approach is the employment of biostimulants to increase crop production. Biostimulants include compounds that boost plant growth. Recently, mimics of zaxinone (MiZax) were shown to have a promising growth-promoting effect in rice (Oryza sativa). In this study, we investigated the effect of MiZax on the growth and yield of three dicot horticultural plants, namely, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), capsicum (Capsicum annuum), and squash (Cucurbita pepo) in different growth environments, as well as on the growth and development of the monocot date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), an important crop in the Middle East. The application of MiZax significantly enhanced plant height, flower, and branch numbers, fruit size, and total fruit yield in independent field trials from 2020 to 2021. Importantly, the amount of applied MiZax was far less than that used with the commercial compound humic acid, a widely used biostimulant in horticulture. Our results indicate that MiZax have significant application potential to improve the performance and productivity of horticultural crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number874858
StatePublished - Jun 16 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We sincerely thank Dr. Justine Braguy, Dr. Yağız Alagöz, and Dr. Abrar Felemban for their assistance in the KAUST field study. We also thank the field work team at the KAU Agricultural Research Station for their help to conduct the field trials at the KAU. We appreciate the support from the members of the KAUST Plant Growth Core Laboratory and the Bioactives Laboratory.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by baseline funding given to SA-B from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Wang, Jamil, Hossain, Chen, Berqdar, Ota, Blilou, Asami, Al-Solimani, Mousa and Al-Babili.


  • apocarotenoids
  • biostimulant
  • date palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
  • green pepper (Capsicum annuum)
  • squash (Cucurbita pepo)
  • tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
  • zaxinone
  • zaxinone mimics (MiZax)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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