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Texas A&M University - Kingsville (2003)

Cactus cladode propagation response to plant nutrients

Pasapula, Vijaya Sekhar

Titre : Cactus cladode propagation response to plant nutrients

Auteur : Pasapula, Vijaya Sekhar

Université de soutenance : Texas A&M University - Kingsville

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2003

Résumé
Prickly pear is becoming increasingly important as a crop for exotic fruit, vegetable, and forage production in Mexico, USA, Chile, Argentina, Israel, Italy and South Africa. It is one of the important arid and semi-arid plants grown commercially. This study was done to investigate the response of cladode production to different plant nutrients and also to find the relation between cladode growth and the concentrations of nutrients in cladodes. Treatments involving the nutrients NPK, Fe and Zn were chosen. Cactus extract has been shown to increase infiltration of water into soil to an extent similar to that of polyacrylamide and was also chosen as treatment. This study is preliminary, because the experiment was conducted in a greenhouse. Results showed that NPK and Zn treatments significantly affected cactus growth. A significant interaction between NPK and Fe or Zn was also observed. Treatments with Fe alone or in combination with Zn were non-significant. No significant effect was observed from the cladode extract treatment. A negative correlation was observed between N content in cladode tissue and cladode weight. The cladode N content was significantly and positively correlated with cladode S, but negatively correlated with cladode Na levels. Further studies are needed in field trials to confirm the response to Zn and Fe, then recommendations to farmers regarding usage of minor nutrients may be formulated.

Mots clés : Agronomy, Biological sciences, Plant propagation

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