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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #219

> From: "James Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com>
> Subject: Anthocyanidins
> While picking up a plant order at my favorite LFS this afternoon, the
> manager gave me a bottle of AZOO RED PLANT NUTRIENTS to try out. Since part
> of my order was some beautiful Althernanthera reineckii, I agreed. The label
> reads, in part:
> "Anthocyanidins is the main pigment that turns water plants red. AZOO RED
> PLANT NUTRIENTS contains  unique formulas that activate and transform the
> Anthocyanidins enzyme in water into anthocyanidins [???] Meanwhile, AZOO RED
> PLANT NUTRIENTS contains critical trace elements that are essential to turn
> water plants red. It turns the leaves of all red water plants and some green
> water plants reddish under  the illumination of light with the 300-400 nm
> wave length. It is the best activator of reddish enhancement for water
> plants."
> Anything in square brackets [], is editorial comment. The label gives no
> specific nutrient breakdown or list of ingredients.
> Question for the botanists and/or chemists: Are these claims reasonable (the
> one about the Anthocyanidins "enzyme")?
> James Purchase
> Toronto

	Very difficult to say what this stuff will do or not. Since it doesn't
list any ingredients, it becomes nigh on impossible. Well that said here is my
humble opinion.
	Package talking about anthocyanins is IMHO, using scientific mumbo -
jumbo to sell a product. Here's the real kicker; your using it with
Alternanthera, which does not possess anthocyanins. They have betalains
(betacyanins) for coloring. This is the same pigment found in beets. Red
coloring in plants is not the just the result of some magic compound known
as anthocyanin. Claiming it is the primary pigment is also very debatable.  
                         "AZOO RED PLANT NUTRIENTS contains crucial trace     
                       elements that are essential to turn water plants red."  
 	It is really nice of this company to have discovered the secret to making
plants red, when Botanists are still trying to isolate the gene's responsible
for pigments, and determine the chemical pathways by which they are formed. 
The company claims to use (chemicals, enzymes, magic, whatever) to turn
anthocyanins enzyme into anthocyanins.  The problem with Alternanthera, is that
the determining step in the production of betacyanins, is the result of
spontaneous, not enzymatic, reactions of betalamic acid. This leads me to be
believe that this product's effect on Alternanthera would be dubious at best.
Would be nice of this company to release their secret recipe.  	 	
	This product is supposed to give some green plants a reddish color?
How? I doubt this claim, but lets assume it to be true. It would seem it is
going to expose them to the chemicals needed to produce anthocyanins.  They
want to artificially dye the green plants red? IMHO it probably isn't the
greatest idea to force plants that that lack anthocyanins to produce them.  

	Best you can do is try it out and see what happens. Best would be to
use two tanks (or heck big glass jars) and give one the AZOO product and the
other traditional plant fertilizer. See which one is redder. This isn't very
good science, but it's really the best you could do in validating the claims
about this product.