Influence of salinity and water regime on tomato for processing

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Vito Cantore
Bernardo Pace *
Mladen Todorović
Egidio De Palma
Francesca Boari
(*) Corresponding Author:
Bernardo Pace | bernardo.pace@ispa.cnr.it

Abstract

The effects of salinity and watering regime on tomato crop are reported. The trials have been carried out over two years in Southern Italy on a deep loam soil. Three saline levels of irrigation water (with electrical conductivity of 0.5, 5 and 10 dS m-1), three watering regimes (at 20, 40 and 60% of available water depletion), and two cultivars (HLY19 and Perfectpeel) were compared. The overall results related to the salinity tolerance are in agreement with those from the literature indicating that water salinity reduced marketable yield by 55% in respect to the control treatments. The irrigation regimes that provided higher total and marketable yield were at 40 and 60% of available water depletion (on average, 90.5 and 58.1 Mg ha-1 against 85.3 and 55.5 Mg ha-1 of the 20% available water depletion). Saline and irrigation treatments did not affect sunburned fruits, while affected incidence of fruits with blossom-end rot. The former disease appeared more dramatically in saline treatments (+28% in respect to the control), and occurred mainly in HLY19. The disease incidence was by 52% lower in W2 respect to the W1 and W3. Fruit firmness was higher in S0, whereas it was not affected by irrigation regimes. Total soluble solids and dry matter content of tomato fruits were increased by salinity, whereas it was not affected by irrigation regimes and cultivars. The pH and the titratable acidity remained unchanged between the years, the cultivar and the saline and irrigation treatments. Similarly to the last parameters, the fruit ascorbic acid content remained unchanged in relation to the treatments, but it was higher in HLY19. The recommended thresholds of easily available water to preserve total and marketable yield were at 40 and 60%, respectively. Watering more frequently, instead, on the soil type of the trial, probably caused water-logging and root hypoxia affecting negatively yield.

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