New Methods and Tools for Resilient, Efficient and Sustainable Organic Vegetable Production

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Vegetable Production Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2023) | Viewed by 3568

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
CNR-ICB National Council of Research, Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Via Paolo Gaifami n. 18, 95126 Catania, Italy
Interests: horticultural and flower crops; agroecosystems and environment; sustainable development of agronomy; sustainability, biodiversity and ecosystem services of cultivation systems for bioenergy; breeding and cultivation systems
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Guest Editor
CNR-IBE National Council of Research, Institute of BioEconomy - Via Paolo Gaifami n.18, 95126 Catania, Italy
Interests: valorisation and characterization of typical Mediterranean germplasm for food a no food applications/recovery of molecules from agricultural wastes for food fortification/novel foods/antioxidants/fructans
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food and Environment-Di3A, University of Catania Via Valdisavoia n. 5, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: conservation and exploitation of the germplasm of species of interest as vegetable and medicinal interest, organic breeding, plant propagation and seed production, systems and growing techniques and methods with low environmental impact, biometric, biochemical and genetic characterization of species of interest as vegetable and/or medicinal, vegetable product and process innovation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, many consumers are health conscious and aware of food quality, food safety, and environmental protection, leading to increasing demand for organic fresh products. Numerous studies on organic versus conventional crops have shown that organic fresh produce has significantly less chemical residue, containing 180 times pesticide residues than conventional produces, are richer in antioxidant compounds. Organic agriculture is more sustainable for the environment, favoring biodiversity and reducing soil erosion and water pollution. Moreover, organic agriculture is an eco-friendly system, able to fix CO2 into soils, decreasing the greenhouses gases emissions.

The new challenge is to develop new tools and methods for resilient, efficient, and sustainable organic vegetable production, providing climate-resilient cultivars addressed to organic vegetable production systems to be used for organic growers, and the organic seed industry, providing much needed security both under current and future scenarios of climate change. Moreover, the research attention should be addressed also to the analyses of the effects of the organic methods on vegetables production and their quality from farm to fork, to meet the habits of consumers.

Dr. Sergio Argento
Dr. Maria Grazia Melilli
Dr. Ferdinando Branca
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plant production
  • horticulture
  • agriculture
  • food
  • organic farming
  • climate change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 1255 KiB  
Article
Grafting Compatibility and Environmental Conditions on Soilless Eggplant (Solanum melongena) Grown in the Mediterranean Greenhouse
by Sergio Argento, Simone Treccarichi, Maria Grazia Melilli and Ferdinando Branca
Horticulturae 2023, 9(9), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9091060 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1617
Abstract
Grafting techniques represent an efficient tool to enhance plant growth and development. The study aims to explore the effects of different grafting combinations on the growth of eggplants under diverse greenhouse conditions. Eggplant cultivar Black bell (Bb) was employed as scion, while the [...] Read more.
Grafting techniques represent an efficient tool to enhance plant growth and development. The study aims to explore the effects of different grafting combinations on the growth of eggplants under diverse greenhouse conditions. Eggplant cultivar Black bell (Bb) was employed as scion, while the hybrid F1 Beaufort (Be) and Solanum torvum (To) were utilized as rootstock. The hypothesis behind this study pertains to grafting incompatibility with Beaufort F1. It postulates that this incompatibility can be mitigated by manipulating soil and greenhouse temperatures. The experimental factors encompassed plant combinations (Bb, Be/Bb and To/Bb), as well greenhouse and substrate temperature (both cold or heated). The Be/Bb combination showed higher values of plant vegetative traits, but it exhibited low grafting compatibility. Additionally, physiological analysis confirmed the presence of excessive growth and vegetative disorder within the Be/Bb combination. Examination of the xylem vessels revealed notable differences between the grafting combination involving Bb and the rootstock F1 hybrid Be/Bb, compared to the one with To/Bb and the non-grafted Bb. Specifically, the area, diameter and number of xylem vessels were approximatively 45% higher in Be/Bb than in To/Bb and the non-grafted Bb. Furthermore, a robust linear correlation was observed between plant height with morphometric and physiological traits, except fruits sets. This study lays the basis for a novel protocol for agriculture, addressing the excessive vegetative growth in rootstocks regulating air and substrate temperatures. Full article
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12 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
Agronomic Performance and Nutraceutical Quality of a Tomato Germplasm Line Selected under Organic Production System
by Amani Romdhane, Anissa Riahi, Gabriella Piro, Marcello Salvatore Lenucci and Chafik Hdider
Horticulturae 2023, 9(4), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9040490 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Organic tomato production is increasing worldwide, thus making necessary the development of varieties adapted to this farming system. It is now well known that the implementation of local tomato plant breeding programs for organic farming is required to increase the performance of varieties [...] Read more.
Organic tomato production is increasing worldwide, thus making necessary the development of varieties adapted to this farming system. It is now well known that the implementation of local tomato plant breeding programs for organic farming is required to increase the performance of varieties in this typology of cultivation regime. In this research, the agronomic performance, nutraceutical contents, and radical scavenging activity of a tomato germplasm line (OSTGL), selected under organically grown conditions, were evaluated for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019) in comparison with the variety ‘Rio Grande’, frequently grown organically in Tunisia. Carotenoids, phenolics, vitamin C, and radical scavenging capacity were assayed spectrophotometrically, while tocopherols were analyzed by HPLC. All data were not affected by year-to-year variability. The OSTGL line showed significantly higher marketable yield, total phenol, flavonoid, vitamin C, α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol contents, along with radical scavenging activity. The OSTGL red-ripe berries also showed comparable values for average weight, soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, firmness and coloration, as well as lycopene and β-carotene contents. This open pollinated tomato germplasm line demonstrated to be an effective sustainable variety for improving fruit yield, agronomic, and nutraceutical characteristics under an organic management system. Full article
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