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Article

To Stop Nitrogen Overdose in Soilless Tomato Crop: A Way to Promote Fruit Quality without Affecting Fruit Yield

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CTIFL, Centre Technique Interprofessionnel des Fruits et Légumes (CTIFL), Centre de Carquefou, ZI Belle Etoile—Antarès, 35 allée des Sapins, 44483 Carquefou CEDEX, France
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INRA, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, UR-1115, Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles, centre PACA, Domaine Saint Paul, 84914 Avignon CEDEX, France
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9020080
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Nutrition Management of Hydroponic Vegetable Crops)
Precision horticulture is fundamental to ensure high quality production with a minimal environmental footprint. It offers the possibility to manage climatic and fertilization inputs closer to the plant needs. In practice, there is a tendency to over-fertilize, as nitrogen limitation can decrease photosynthesis and consequently fruit yield, but also because nutrient recycling does not lead to any substantial costs increase, thus ignoring the influence of nitrogen input on the balance between growth and metabolism. Nitrogen recommendation for tomato greenhouse production on rockwool is 16mM, even it is well established that only 50% of nitrogen amount is really absorbed by plants. This study compares the usual practice (16 mM) to a nitrogen supply to meet plant’s needs (5 mM). We analyzed plant growth and development, yield, leaf photosynthetic activity and fruit quality (sugars, acids, vitamin C,) over the entire crop period (December to October). Over-fertilization favoured the accumulation of nitrogen in leaves and stem but yield, leaf photosynthetic activity and plant architecture were not significantly improved. In addition, it decreased the quality of the tomatoes as the sugar:acid ratio decreased dramatically in the pericarp, whereas the locular gel composition remained similar. A reduction of the nitrogen supply is one solution to improve tomato quality without any reduction of yield in greenhouse. These data have to be incorporated in tomato fertigation management to define a new standard based on overall quality of tomato fruit and low environmental footprint. View Full-Text
Keywords: Solanum lycopersicum; glasshouse; nitrogen supply; photosynthetic activity; fruit quality; sugar:acid ratio; pericarp; locular gel Solanum lycopersicum; glasshouse; nitrogen supply; photosynthetic activity; fruit quality; sugar:acid ratio; pericarp; locular gel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Truffault, V.; Ristorto, M.; Brajeul, E.; Vercambre, G.; Gautier, H. To Stop Nitrogen Overdose in Soilless Tomato Crop: A Way to Promote Fruit Quality without Affecting Fruit Yield. Agronomy 2019, 9, 80. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9020080

AMA Style

Truffault V, Ristorto M, Brajeul E, Vercambre G, Gautier H. To Stop Nitrogen Overdose in Soilless Tomato Crop: A Way to Promote Fruit Quality without Affecting Fruit Yield. Agronomy. 2019; 9(2):80. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9020080

Chicago/Turabian Style

Truffault, Vincent, Marlene Ristorto, Eric Brajeul, Gilles Vercambre, and Hélène Gautier. 2019. "To Stop Nitrogen Overdose in Soilless Tomato Crop: A Way to Promote Fruit Quality without Affecting Fruit Yield" Agronomy 9, no. 2: 80. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9020080

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