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Title: Natural biostimulants as upscale substitutes to synthetic hormones for boosting tomato yield and fruits quality
Authors: Rouphael, Yousseph
Formisano, Luigi
Ciriello, Michele
Cardarelli, Mariateresa
Luziatelli, Francesca 
Ruzzi, Maurizio 
Ficca, Anna Grazia 
Bonini, Paolo
Colla, Giuseppe 
Issue Date: 2021
Natural biostimulants are one of the most promising and eco-sustainable technologies, which
can improve the qualitative and productive attributes of horticultural crops. The positive effects of their
application derive from their “signaling role” as elicitors of auxin- and gibberellin-like activity, thus
constituting a valid alternative to synthetic hormones. Our research aimed to assess the efficacy of a
plant extract (Heptamin®) and a bacterial culture filtrate (Capxium®), both rich in natural auxins, and of
a synthetic auxin (Auxyger® LG) on the quantitative and qualitative performance, as well as on the eco nomic returns of greenhouse table tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Pitagora). The application of
plant extract increased the marketable yield (+25.8%), firmness (+25.7%), and fruit lycopene content
(+42.5%) compared to the untreated control. In particular, natural biostimulants outperformed synthetic
auxin by inducing higher fruit weight (13.1%) and marketable yield (16.2%). On the other hand, no sig nificant differences were recorded as a result of the treatments regarding total soluble solids, pH, and
titratable acidity of the fruit juice. Our results suggest that plant biostimulants with auxin-like activity
are an excellent tool for boosting tomato production and fruit quality in an eco-sustainable approach.
Finally, economic analysis revealed that the application of natural biostimulants resulted in overall
higher profitability.
ISSN: 1127-3496
DOI: 10.26353/j.itahort/2021.1.8899
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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