INTRODUCTION: Tomato plants grown under drought condition, decreased their vegetative growth due water deficit that causes negative effects on their physiological processes and nutritional status. An additional nitrogen supply can mitigate these effects inducing in the plants a series of physiological and biochemical mechanisms that let it to cope the lack of water.
OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT: The objective of this study was to evaluate foliar applications of Fitomare as a product for increasing drought tolerance on tomato plants.
WHAT IS FITOMARE?
Fitomare is a product from Atlántica Agrícola formulated with seaweed extract (Ascophyllum nodosum) and enriched with amino acids, macro and microelements, which enhances sprouting, flowering, fruit set and increases tolerance to different abiotic stresses.. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tomato plants were grown on inert substrate inside a growth chamber (CEBAS-CSIC, Murcia). Four different treatments were applied: Well-watered plants (100% Etc, Control), drought (DS), drought + Fitomare foliar application (DS+Fito), and drought + commercial product rich in amino acid (foliar) (DS+PC). For each treatment there were 6 plants. DS treatment consisted in watering 40% ETc. Measurements: photosynthesis (rate of net CO2 assimilation ACO2 and stomatal conductance gs), vegetative growth, organic solutes (proline and reducing sugars), and oxidative damage (MDA). RESULTS: Drought caused a reduction in the vegetative growth, however in the plants where Fitomare was applied in foliar form this reduction was lower, as it can be seen in the figure that indicates the drought tolerance (% vegetative growth of plants drought stress treatment compared to control).
Pictures show the plants at the end of the experiment. It is appreciated that the plants from DS+Fito treatment are less damaged by the drought than those from other two treatments in which yellowing, loss of turgor, and leaf rolled were observed.
Drought decreased the rate of net CO2 assimilation and stomatal conductance, but this decrease was lower in plants which Fitomare was applied. Proline, reducing sugars and MDA concentration increased in plants from DS, and DS + PC treatments relative to both control, and DS+ Fito treatments. CONCLUSIONS: With this data it can be concluded that foliar application of Fitomare increases drought tolerance of tomato plants. These plants had a larger vegetative growth than plants from other treatments of drought due to it had a better functioning of physiological processes (ACO2 and gs), and avoided the problems caused by oxidative damage (low MDA concentration).
Trial developed by: Silvia Simón Grau (1); Francisco García Sánchez (1); W.M. Rodríguez Ortega (2) (1)Department of Plant Nutrition, CEBAS, CSIC, Campus Universitario de Espinardo. Espinardo. Murcia. 30100 (SPAIN). (2)Department of I+D+i, Atlántica Agrícola - C/ Corredera 33. 03400 Villena (Alicante - SPAIN) E-mail: email@example.com