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J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 34 (6): , 2009 EFFECT OF FOLIAR APPLICATION WITH SALICYLIC ACID AND VITAMIN E ON GROWTH AND PRODUCTIVITY OF TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum, Mill.) PLANT. Mady,
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J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 34 (6): , 2009 EFFECT OF FOLIAR APPLICATION WITH SALICYLIC ACID AND VITAMIN E ON GROWTH AND PRODUCTIVITY OF TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum, Mill.) PLANT. Mady, M. A. Agric. Botany Dept., Fac. of Agric., Benha Univ., Egypt. ABSTRACT Two field experiments wee conducted to study the effect of foliar application with 50 & 100 ppm of salicylic acid (SA) and 100 & 200 ppm of vitamin E (VE) and their combination on some growth aspects, photosynthetic pigments, minerals, endogenous phytohormones, flowering, fruiting and fruit quality of tomato cv. Super strain B during 2006 and 2007 seasons. Plants were sprayed two times at 30 and 45 days after transplanting. Results indicated that, different applied treatments significantly increased all studied growth parameters as number of branches and leaves per plant, leaf area per plant and leaves dry weight as well. Besides, the two concentrations of each applied salicylic acid or vitamin E obviously increased photosynthetic pigments, NPK, Fe, Zn, Mn, total carbohydrates and crude protein concentrations in leaves of treated plants as compared with those of untreated ones. Also, all treatments increased gibberellins and cytokinins level in tomato shoots whereas Auxins and abscisic acid were decreased. Furthermore, the highest early and total yields were obtained with salicylic acid 50ppm + vitamin E 200ppm followed by SA VE 200ppm, respectively. In addition, chemical composition of minerals and some bioconstituents such as carbohydrates, vitamin C, total soluble solids in tomato fruits were also increased at the same treatments. Therefore, the present study strongly admit the use of salicylic acid and vitamin E as foliar application not only increased early and total yields but also getting a good fruit quality as well. Keywords: Salicylic acid, vitamin E, photosynthetic pigments, Endogenous phytohormones,flowering, Yield, tomato. INTRODUCTION Salicylic acid (SA) is a phenolic compound and natural constituent of plant (Raskin, 1992). SA was recognized as an endogenous regulator in plants after the finding that it is involved in many plant physiological processes (Pancheva et al., 1996). One of the most studied functions of SA is associated with its involvement in plant resistance response to different pathogen attacks (Enyedi et al., 1992 and Durner, et al. 1997). Application of salicylic acid to plants has been shown a variety of biological responses. Enzyme activities such as amylase and nitrate reductase were increased by SA application (Sharma et al, and Chen et al.,1993). On the other hand, SA showed synergetic effect with auxin and gibberellins (Datta and Nanda, 1985 and Sanaa et al,. 2006). Moreover, in a number of species SA promoted flowering in combination with other plant growth regulators such as kinetin, indole acetic acid and gibberellins (Singh, 1984 and Shehata et al,. 2000). Applied SA induced changeable in endogenous phytohormones of tomato and other plants (Raskin, 1992 and Waffaa et al,. 1996). Mady, M. A. Recently, it was known that plants can be defense against such oxidative effects via groups of naturally occurring or exogenously applied substances known as antioxidants or oxygen free radicals scavengers. Antioxidants, i.e. vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, phenols, glutathione, citric acid due to their molecules properties acts as cofactors for some specific enzymes, i.e., dismutases, catalases, peroxidases, those catalyzed breakdown of the toxic (H 2 O 2 ), (OH), (O - 2) radicals (Lascaris and Deacon, 1991; Bowler et al, and Aono et al., 1993). Some investigators were used such agents to improve productivity of some vegetables, but under non stress condition, with less or no attention to their antioxidantal protective functions (El-Sayed, 1991; Arisha, 2000; El-Lithy et al, and Fathy et al, ). The present study aimed to investigate the effect of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) and vitamin E (VE) and their combination on the growth, flowering and tomato fruits yield. Furthermore, the effect of SA and VE on endogenous phytohormones as well as chlorophylls, minerals and carbohydrates concentration were studied. MATERIALS AND METHODS Two field experiments were carried out at the Experimental Farm Station of the faculty of Agriculture, Moshtohor, Benha University, Egypt, during 2006 and 2007 seasons to study the effect of foliar application with salicylic acid, vitamin E and their combination on growth, flowering, yield and fruit quality as well as photosynthetic pigments, minerals crude protein and carbohydrates of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cv. Super strain B. Five-week-old tomato seedlings were transplanted to the experiment plots at (February 12 th in the two seasons). The experiments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with 3 replicates. The plot area was 10.5m 2 (3 x 3.5m) with five rows. Different recommended agricultural practices for this plant were followed by the Ministry of Agric., Egypt. Salicylic acid (SA) at 50 & 100ppm and vitamin E (VE) at 100 & 200ppm and their different combination as well as distilled water as control were applied as foliar application at 30 and 45 days after transplanting. This experiment included the following treatments: 1. Control. 2. Salicylic acid (SA) at 50ppm. 3. Salicylic acid (SA) at 100ppm 4. Vitamin E (VE) at 100ppm. 5. Vitamin E (VE) at 200ppm 6. (SA) at 50 ppm + (VE) at 100 ppm. 7. (SA) at 50 ppm + (VE) at 200 ppm. 8. (SA) at 100 ppm + (VE) at 100 ppm. 9. (SA) at 100 ppm + (VE) at 200 ppm Sampling and collecting data: a)morphological characteristics: different morphological characteristics at sixty days after transplanting were inspected as following: 6736 J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 34 (6), June, Number of branches and leaves/plant.- Total leaf area (cm 2 ) using the disk method according to Derieux et al. (1973).Leaves dry weight.sample of each treatment were dried in oven at 70 C till the constant weight. b) Photosynthetic pigments: chlorophyll a, b and Carotenoids were calorimetrically determined according to the described by Inskeep and Bloom (1985). c) Flowering characteristics: - Number of flowers/plant.-fruit setting percentage was calculated as following: No. of fruits/plant Fruit setting%= X 100 No. of flowers/plant d) Fruiting: - Early fruits number/plant: was considered as the number of first four pickings. - Total fruits number: was calculated as number of fruits in all pickings. - Fruit yield kg/plant: was calculated as fresh weight of fruits in all pickings. e) Chemical composition: Total nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were determine in tomato leaves at 60 days after transplanting and in fruits at harvest according the methods described by Horneck and Miller, (1998), Sandell, (1950) and Horneck and Hanson,( 1998) respectively. Also, Fe, Zn and Mn were determined according to (Black, et al. 1965). Total carbohydrate was determined according to (Dubois et al. 1956). Crude protein was calculated according to the following equation: Crude protein= Total nitrogen x 6.25 (A.O.A.C., 1990). f) Endogenous phytohormones: Endogenous phytohormones were quantitatively determined in tomato shoots at 60 days after transplanting in the second season using High- Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) according to Koshioka et al., 1983) for auxin (IAA), gibberellic acid (GA 3 ) and abscisi acid (ABA) while, cytokinins were determined according to Nicander et al., (1993). g) Total soluble solids (T.S.S.) was measured using a hand refractometer. Vitamin C and titratable acidity were determined according to the method described by the A.O.A.C. (1990). h) Statistical analysis: Data obtained in this study were statistically analyzed by using the least significant differences test (L.S.D) according to Snedecor and Cochran (1980). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Growth behaviour: Data in Table (1) clearly show that different sprayed treatments i.e. salicylic acid (SA) and vitamin E (VE) separately or in their combinations; in most cases significantly increased the estimated growth characteristics. Since, each of the number of branches and leaves per plant increased to reach its maximum with the combination of SA at 50 and VE at 200 ppm. Also, it could be noticed that different applied combination between SA and VE were more effective in comparison when separately applied. In addition in 6737 Mady, M. A. case of leaf area per plant and their dry weight nearly behaved as the same as the above mentioned characteristics. Here, it could be noticed that the combination of SA at 50 + VE at 100 ppm gave the highest leaf area and dry weight per plant. The above mentioned results nearly similar during 2006 and 2007 seasons. With regard to the stimulatory effect of SA and VE on different estimated characteristics of tomato growth it could be attributed to the effect of this components upon the endogenous phytohormones specially the growth promoters i.e. Auxins, gibberellins and cytokinins (Waffaa et al, and Shehata et al.,2000 ). Also, to remark that most of the applied treatments increased each of branches and leaves number that could be reversed upon the number of formed flowers and setted fruits.. In agreement with our results are Gharib (2007) on basil and marjoram and Fathy et al., (2003) on eggplant they mentioned that salicylic acid and vitamin E increased plant height, number of branches and leaves per plant and dry weight as well, respectively. Photosynthetic pigments: As shown in Table (2) during the two seasons of 2006 and 2007 all applied treatments either separately or in combinations led to significant increase of chlorophyll a and b as well as carotenoids pigments. The exception was that insignificant increase of chlorophyll a with SA at 50 ppm and carotenoids with the same treatment and concentration during the two seasons. Also, it could be noticed that the combination of SA and VE were more effective when compared with them when separately applied.. In this respect, present results are in agreement with those of Sweify and Abdel- Wahid (2008), they found that application of SA increased chlorophyll a and b as well as caroteinods in Syngonium podphyllum plants. Also, Fathy et al,. (2000) found that foliar application with VE and other antioxidant increased photosynthetic pigments in tomato plants. This stimulative effect of the combination of SA and VE might be due to their antioxidantal scavenging effect to be protected chloroplasts and prevented chlorophyll degradation by the toxic reactive oxygen radicals (Bowler et al., 1992 and Aono et al., 1993). Minerals and some bio-constituents: Concerning the effect of SA and VE on minerals content, data in Table (3) revealed that all applied treatments were effectively improved NPK, Fe, Zn and Mn content in tomato leaves compared with those of control plants in both seasons. Also, it could be noticed that SA at 50 ppm + VE at 200 ppm was superior in this respect. Additionally, the main function of anti-oxidants such as SA and VE were protective of cell membranes and their binding transporter proteins (H + - ATP ase membrane pumps), maintained their structure and function against the toxic and destructive effects reactive oxygen species (ROS) during stress, in turn, more absorption and translocation of minerals (Dicknson et al., 1991). Also, similar results were obtained by Fathy et al., (2000 & 2003). 6738 J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 34 (6), June, Mady, M. A. Regarding crude protein and total carbohydrates, data in Table (3) revealed that all applied treatments significantly increased total carbohydrates content in tomato leaves during the two seasons. Meanwhile, all treatments insignificantly increased crude protein content in leaves excepted SA at 50ppm + VE at 200ppm treatment was significant in this respect during the two seasons. Also, high concentration of total carbohydrates is a direct result of photosynthesis with great efficiency that was preceded with large photosynthetic area (Tables 1 & 2) as well under the treatments but it reached its maximum with SA at 50ppm + VE at 200ppm one. These results results are in agreement with those obtained by Sanaa et al., (2001) and Fathy et al., (2000). Endogenous phytohormones: Data in Table (4) clearly indicate that different used SA and VE treatments decreased the level of endogenous Auxins in tomato shoots at 60 days after transplanting. Meanwhile, gibberellins and cytokinins were increased in all applied treatments. Also, SA at 50ppm and VE at 200ppm gave the highest value in this respect. On the other hand, the growth inhibitor; abscisic acid it was decreased with various applied treatments. Also, SA at 50ppm + VE at 200ppm gave the highest reduction in this respect. These data, could also be of great influence upon different vegetative and reproductive growth. In addition, increasing cytokinin level on the account of auxin could be in favor of increasing the number of formed branches (Table 1) and improvement of photosynthetic pigments content (Table 2) in tomato plants. Moreover, SA showed synergetic effect with auxin and gibberellins (Datta and Nanda, 1985). Applied SA induced changeable in endogenous phytohormones of tomato and other plants (Raskin, 1992 and Waffaa et al., 1996). Flowering and fruiting: Data in Table (5) indicate that significant increase iin number of flowers, early and total fruits dominantly existed with different foliar application during the two assigned seasons. The combination treatments gave the highest values especially SA at 50 ppm + VE at 200 ppm ranked the first in this respect. Concerning fruit setting and total fruit yield per plant data in Table (5) reveled that significant increase of the picked fruits during harvest time dominantly existed with all treatments during 2006 and 2007 seasons. Also, these data being more evident when related to the control. Similar results were obtained by SA in soybean and broad bean (Awasthi et al., 1997 and Sanaa et al., 2001), Also, VE in tomato (Fathy et al., 2000). Fruit quality: Data presented in Table (6) indicate that different sprayed treatments increased NPK, crude protein and total carbohydrates concentrations in marketable stage of tomato fruits. Also, it could be noticed that SA at 50 ppm + VE at 200 ppm gave the highest concentration of total carbohydrates in ripened tomato fruits followed by SA at 50ppm + VE at 100ppm. 6740 J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 34 (6), June, Mady, M. A J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 34 (6), June, 2009 In addition, vitamin C, total soluble solids and titratable acidity, data in Table (7) showed that all treatments increased the amount of vitamin C, total soluble solids and titratable acidity in tomato fruits during the two seasons. Also it could be noticed that the highest increase of vitamin C was existed with SA at 50 ppm + VE at 200 ppm. These data are being important from the view of fruit quality since, that could be prolong the shelf time with different applied treatments specially that of SA at 50ppm + VE at 200 ppm one. The same results nearly were obtained for VE in tomato (Fathy et al., 2000) and for bean (Sanaa, et al., 2001). Table (7): Effect of salicylic acid (SA) and Vitamin E (VE) on tomato fruits quality during the two seasons. Characteristics 2006 Season 2007 Season Vitamin C Total Vitamin C Total Titratable Titratable (mg/100g soluble (mg/100g soluble acidity (%) acidity (%) Treatments F.W) solids (%) F.W) solids (%) Control SA SA V E VE SA 1 + VE SA 1 + VE SA 2 + VE SA 2 + VE L.S.D. at 5% SA1: Salicylic acid 50ppm VE1: Vitamin E 100ppm SA2 : Salicylic acid 100ppm VE2: Vitamin E 200ppm REFERENCES A.O.A.C. (1990). Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Agriculture Chemists. 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