Study on alleviation of heat stress in tomato by sulfur application

Temperature is a key factor influencing plant growth and productivity, however sudden increases in temperature can cause severe consequences in terms of crop performance. This study evaluates the influence of elementary sulfur application on the physiology and growth of two tomato genotypes ("Ahmar" and "Roma") grown in two growth chambers (at 25 and 45 °C).

Plants were sprayed with 2, 4, 6, and 8 ppm sulfur 45 days after sowing (untreated plants were kept as control). Plants of the "Roma" cultivar receiving 6 ppm sulfur exhibited maximal shoot and root biomass values followed by those receiving 4 ppm under both temperature conditions. Maximal CO2 index, photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, and greenness index values (188.1 µmol mol −1 , 36.3 µmol CO2 m −2 s −1, 1.8 µmol H2O m −2 s −1, and 95 SPAD, respectively) were observed in plants of "Roma" cultivar grown at 25 °C, indicating positive influences of sulfur on tomato physiology.

Similarly, sulfur maximized proline, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contents in leaves of both genotypes at both temperatures. The differences between control and sulfur-treated plants grown under heat stress indicate a possible role of sulfur in mitigating heat stress. Overall, our results suggest that 6 ppm of sulfur is the best dose to alleviate tomato heat stress and enhance the morphological, physiological, and biochemical attributes of tomato plants.

Read the complete research at

Ali, Muhammad & Shafique, Muhammad & Gull, Shaista & Naveed, Waleed & Javed, Talha & Yousef, Ahmed & Mauro, Rosario. (2021). Alleviation of Heat Stress in Tomato by Exogenous Application of Sulfur. Horticulturae. 7. 21. 10.3390/horticulturae7020021. 

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