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"Aurora tropical": Integrando el uso de Bioestimulantes en Horticultura Sustentable, caso Extractos Naturales

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Ramírez-Guerrero, H.O., Santana-Gudiño, Y.A. and Meza-Figueroa, C.A. 2013. "Aurora tropical": integrating the use of biostimulants in sustainable horticulture, the case for fruit extracts and chitosan in pepper seedling production. Acta Horticulturae. 1009:101-104. ISHS (Bélgica).

Despite recent reports indicating that tropical countries will suffer most from the negative impacts of climate change, including numerous educational and research campaigns, current surveys examining trends in good horticultural practices show that the majority of tropical vegetable growers are still using conventional production methods. In this experiment bell pepper seedlings were grown in trays containing a commercial horticultural substrate (peat moss, P),  which was enriched with watermelon (WJ) and orange (OJ) juices and Chitosan (CB, Biorend®: Bioagro, Chilean company) for production. Six doses (v/v) of natural substances named as biostimulants (B) were evaluated: control (Do: without B. peat and tap water, 5:1), D1 (peat and OJ, 5:1), D2 (peat and orange solid wastes, 5:1), D3 (peat and WJ, 5:1), D4 (peat and WJ, 5:2) and D5 (peat and CB solution at 5%, 5:1). Various seedling growth parameters were measured to assess seedling quality. Height of seedlings cultivated in D3 and D4 was greater than in all the other treatments, followed by D5 and D1. Also, D4 and D3 achieved the greatest total number of leaves (nol) and fresh weight of aerial organs (afw). The treatments Do, D1, D2 and D5 had the lowest nol and afw. Root fresh weight was significantly higher in D3 and D4 than in other treatments, including the control. No differences were observed between Do and D1, D2 and D5, which may be a result of high toxic concentrations (possibly citric acid in the case of OJ). These results suggest that introducing new, appropriate, balanced and supplemental biostimulants doses is a crucial horticultural practice for the production of vegetable seedlings. Further research is recommended on integrated seedling biofortification, using other commercial biostimulants.