Effect of foliar application of zinc oxide on growth and photosynthetic traits of cherry tomato under calcareous soil conditions
Hasan SardarDepartment of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural science and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Safina NazDepartment of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural science and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Shaghef EjazDepartment of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural science and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Omer FarooqDepartment of Agronomy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Atique-ur RehmanDepartment of Agronomy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Muhammad SameenInstitute of Food Science and Nutrition Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Gulzar AkhtarDepartment of Horticulture, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Multan, Pakistan
Tomato is considered as a valuable vegetable crop all over the world. It prefers loose, well drained loamy soils rich in organic matter. In Pakistan, mostly soils are calcareous in nature. In calcareous soils, the production of tomato crop is low because of zinc deficiency. Therefore, current study was aimed to examine the potential of foliar application of zinc oxide in tomato cultivar Tiny Tim Cherry in calcareous soil conditions. In the current study, all the studied traits i.e. plant height, stem diameter, number of branches per plant, number of leaves, number of flowers per plant, fruit weight and yield per plant were significantly higher after foliar application of zinc oxide (30 ppm) and significantly lower in controlled treatment as compared to other treatments of zinc oxide. The maximum total soluble solids (TSS), chlorophyll A, chlorophyll B, vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolics were recorded in plants treated with 30 ppm of zinc oxide as compared to other treatments. However, the highest acidity was calculated in 10 ppm, while the lowest acidity was measured in 0 ppm (control). Conclusively, foliar application of Zn has potential to increase the nutritional components of tomato fruits.
Keywords:micronutrients application, crop yield, fruits quality, soil physiochemical properties
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