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Nitrogen Application Can Be Reduced without Affecting Carotenoid Content, Maturation, Shelf Life and Yield of Greenhouse Tomatoes

Lookup NU author(s): Dimitra Chormova, Dr Ed Okello, Dr Robert Shiel, Dr Kirsten BrandtORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 by the authors.Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) of the variety Elpida were grown under standard Mediterranean greenhouse conditions during the spring season at three different nitrogen levels (low 6.4, standard 12.8, high 25.9 mM/plant), which were replicated during two consecutive years. Application of high nitrogen significantly increased the colour index a* (p < 0.001) but did not significantly affect yield or quality. The variety exhibited prolonged postharvest storage at room temperature (median survival time of 93 days). The maturation process was delayed by harvest at the breaker stage (2.5 days, p ≤ 0.001) or by super-optimal temperatures in the second year of experimentation (10 days, p ≤ 0.001). The colour indices L* and a* and the hue angle (a/b*) were positively correlated with the sum of total carotenoids, while differences in b* depended on the year of cultivation. The sustainability of this type of tomato production can be improved by reducing the nitrogen supply to less than the current standard practice, with minimal risk or negative effects on yield and quality of tomatoes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chormova D, Kavvadias V, Okello E, Shiel R, Brandt K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Plants

Year: 2023

Volume: 12

Issue: 7

Print publication date: 01/04/2023

Online publication date: 04/04/2023

Acceptance date: 01/04/2023

Date deposited: 05/05/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2223-7747

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/plants12071553


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