EXOGENOUS APPLICATION OF INORGANIC SALTS DURING GROWTH STAGES INFLUENCES THE VEGETATIVE GROWTH, MARKETABLE YIELD AND QUALITY OF STRAWBERRY (FRAGARIA × ANANASSA) CULTIVAR 'CHANDLER'
Applied Ecology and Environmental Research
Shahzad et al.: Yield and quality improvement of strawberry by application of salts -3965 -APPLIED ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH 18(3):3965-3980. Abstract. In Pakistan strawberry yield and cultivation area is significantly lower as compared the major strawberry growing countries. Defective agronomic practices cause reduction in yield and quality. This experiment was conducted by using non-chemical techniques including exogenous application of inorganic salts CaCl2 (3, 5 and 7 mM/L) and
... and 7 mM/L) and ZnSO4 (50, 100 and 150 mg/L) during growth stages (3-4 leaves stage and after fruit setting) and their effects on marketable yield and quality of strawberry were documented. The highest number of leaves (18.25), leaf area (47 cm 2 ) and crowns (7.50) were found with 7 mM/L CaCl2 as compared to control plants. Minimum numbers of days (27.7) for flower anthesis were recorded with 100 mg/L ZnSO4. Maximum marketable yield (348.5 g plant -1 ), firmness (0.96 kg. cm -2 ), total soluble solids (8.2 ºBrix), TSS:TA ratio (7.62), vitamin C (55.69 mg 100 g -1 ), total phenolic contents (186.5 mg GAE 100 g -1 ) and higher total antioxidants (75.5% DPPH) were observed with 7 mM/L CaCl2 application. However, maximum superoxide dismutase activity (30.2 U mg −1 protein) was examined with 100 mg/L ZnSO4 while peroxidase activity (1.05 U mg −1 protein) decreased with this concentration. Overall, the response of 7 mM/L CaCl2 was highly effective for increasing marketable yield and quality.