Production and Nutritional Quality of Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum var. Cerasiforme) Are Improved in the Presence of Biochar and Inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhizae

Production and Nutritional Quality of Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum var. Cerasiforme) Are Improved in the Presence of Biochar and Inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhizae

UNALM

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ARTÍCULO

Tomato is a fruit of great nutritional interest in the basic human diet. The increasing use of agrochemicals to maintain production requires new alternatives to reduce environmental impact. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) are beneficial microorganisms that favor the growth of plants improving their nutrition and development, protecting the plant from biotic and abiotic stresses and favoring the production of bioactive compounds that increase their nutritional value. The use of biochar as soil conditioner is also considered an environmentally friendly resource. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to observe the effect of the use of biochar and AM inoculation onthe quality of fruits, yield and polyphenols production of Cherry tomato, Solanum lycopersicum var. Cerasiforme. A mixture of rice husk biochar with sterile sand and two inoculums of Glomeromycota native fungi: from a wetland (GWI) and a fallow field (GFI) were used. Control treatments consisted of inoculation with both GWI and GFI in sterile sand. All treatments were irrigated with 50% La Molina® hydroponic solution. After 12 weeks plants were harvested to quantify weight, number and diameters of the fruits, and yield, total polyphenols in the fruit pulp were quantified. In the presence of biochar and the two inoculums, GFI and GWI, fruit production was favored throughout the experiment. The height of the plants was significantly greater in the presence of biochar. Plants grown in biochar and inoculated with GFI had a yield of 8.2 MT/Ha, increasing in 50% this value respect to control with biochar (5.33 MT/Ha). This treatment doubled the number of fruits (59.5) with respect to the control (32.5). Root colonization by GFI was not affected by the presence of biochar. It is concluded that the combined use of rice husk biochar and Glomeromycota fungal inoculation is recommended for increasing of Cherry tomato yield and improving fruit quality through the production of bioactive compounds.

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