Environmental sustainability fruit quality and production in mycorrhizal tomato plants without P fertilizing
¹University of Molise, Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Food, Via F. De Sanctis 1, IT86100 Campobasso, Italy
²University of Napoli, Department of Biology, Via Foria 223, IT80137 Napoli, Italy
³Ion Ionescu de la Brad, University of Agricultural, UASMV, Iasi, M. Sadoveanu 3, RO700490, Romania
³Institute of Agricultural Technical Higher Education ‘S. Pardo’, IT86035 Larino, CB, Italy
The influence of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Funelliformis mosseae, on fruit quality, production and environmental sustainability were evaluated in field-tomato plants grown exposed to P-limited soil 5 μg g-1 soil (basal-soil) with nitrate fertilization (50 μg g-1 soil), after greenhouse germination and fungus colonization. After 60 days sowing (DAS), when the percentage of mycorrhizal root length (% RLC) raised at about 50%, the plants were transplanted in open field.
During the experiment, the mycorrhization has affected a lot of physiological aspects like vegetative and reproductive growth, improving them and ended the fruiting with a major fruit production that was 50% higher than not mycorrhizal (NM) plants. The ripening process of the fruits was also followed by testing sugars content and ß-Amylase activity in fruits of NM and mycorrhizal (M) plants fruits. At 140 DAS, in the harvesting fruits stage, fruits of M plants showed significantly higher mineral nutrient sugars and organic nitrogen compounds as amino acids and protein, compared to fruits from NM plants. In particular, GLU-GLN-ASP and ASN raised about 35% more than fruits from NM plants, improving nutritional aspect and flavor of the product. THR-ILEU-LEU-VAL and LYS, essential amino acids in man nutrition, increased around 25% more than fruits from NM plants, too. In this contest, lycopene, total carotenoids, ascorbic acid and glutathione (GS) and reduced form (GSH) were also tested in ripe fruits. The overall results suggest that tomato roots colonization by mycorrhizal fungus Funelliformis mosseae affects host plant nutritional status, modifying reproductive behavior, fruits production and nutritional quality.