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Title: Plant-and seaweed-based extracts increase yield but differentially modulate nutritional quality of greenhouse spinach through biostimulant action
Authors: Rouphael, Youssef
Giordano, Maria
CARDARELLI, Mariateresa 
Cozzolino, Eugenio
Mori, Mauro
Kyriacou, Marios C.
Bonini, Paolo
Colla, Giuseppe 
Journal: AGRONOMY 
Issue Date: 2018
Plant biostimulants (PBs) such as protein hydrolysates and seaweed extracts are attracting the increasing interest of scientists and vegetable growers for their potential toenhance yield and nutritional quality. The current study assessed crop productivity, leaf colorimetry, mineral profile and bioactive compounds of greenhouse spinach in response to the foliar application of three PBs: legume-derived protein hydrolysate [PH], extract of seaweed Ecklonia maxima or mixture of vegetal oils, herbal and seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum extracts. Plants were PB-treated at a rate of 3 mL L-1 four times during their growth cycle at weekly intervals. Foliar PB applications enhanced fresh yield, dry biomass and leaf area of spinach in comparison with untreated plants. Improved yield performance with PB applications was associated with improved chlorophyll biosynthesis (higher SPAD index). The three PB treatments elicited an increase in bioactive compounds (total phenols and ascorbic acid), thus raised the functional quality of spinach. The application of PH enhanced K and Mg concentrations and did not result in increased nitrate accumulation as observed with the other two PB treatments. Our findings can assist vegetable farmers and the agro-food industry in adopting innovative and sustainable tools such as PB for complementing a high yield with premium quality.
ISSN: 2073-4395
DOI: 10.3390/agronomy8070126
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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