Fulvic acids are organic compounds widely distributed in soils, and the application of fulvic acids is thought to increase crop yield and quality. However, the effects vary among various sources and doses of fulvic acids and environmental and growth conditions of crops. This research focuses on the effects of bioresource-derived (corn straw) fulvic acids on plant production and quality of tomato plants and soil chemical properties in soil cultures while experiments on seed germination and hydroponics were conducted to explore the underlying mechanism.
Base dressing with 2.7 g kg −1 increased the yield of tomato by 35.0% at most as increased fruit number. Fulvic acids increased the concentrations of minerals, such as Ca, Fe, and Zn, and the concentrations of citric, malic, and some amino acids in berries of tomato but did not affect the concentrations of soluble sugars and aromatic substances in tomato fruits. Similarly, fulvic acids at 80-160 mg L −1 increased germination rate, growth vigor, and radicle elongation of tomato seeds while it increased plant biomass, concentrations of nutrients, and root length of tomato plants in hydroponics to the greatest extent in general.
The increases in yield and quality can be attributed to the improvement in root growth and, thus, increased nutrient uptake. In addition, the base application of fulvic acids improved soil cation exchange capacity and soil organic matter to an extent. In conclusion, base dressing and the addition into the solution of fulvic acids at moderate doses facilitate root growth and nutrient uptake and, thus, vegetable production and quality; therefore, fulvic acids can be an effective component for designing new biofertilizers for sustainable agricultural production.
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Zhang, Peijia & Zhang, Hongjia & Wu, Guoqing & Chen, Xiaoyuan & Gruda, Nazim & Li, Xun & Dong, Jinlong & Duan, Zengqiang. (2021). Dose-Dependent Application of Straw-Derived Fulvic Acid on Yield and Quality of Tomato Plants Grown in a Greenhouse. Frontiers in Plant Science. 12. 736613. 10.3389/fpls.2021.736613.