In recent days, liquid formulations of brown seaweed extract, Ascophyllum nodosum used as a biostimulant in agriculture. Various studies suggest that A. nodosum enhanced the growth and yield of agriculturally important crops, but still, there is a lack of information about the biostimulation effects on photosynthesis, flowering and fruit setting of tomato. Hence, the present study aimed to know the effect of foliar application of A. nodosum on photosynthesis, flowering, fruit setting, yield and quality of tomato. A biostimulant product, MC Set with A. nodosum extract applied to tomato as a foliar spray at rates of three different concentrations such as 1.0 L ha−1 (MS 1), 2.0 L ha−1 (MS 2), 3.0 L ha−1 (MS 3) for six times during flowering of 2nd (30 Days after transplanting – DAT), 3rd (40 DAT) and 4th (50 DAT) cluster and fruit setting of 2nd (60 DAT), 3rd (70 DAT) and 4th (80 DAT) cluster respectively. The MC Set treatments enhanced the plant photosynthesis, flower number and fruit number per cluster, yield and quality traits of tomato. However, the middle concentration MS 2 showed highest photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, SPAD value, flower and fruit in 2nd, 3rd and 4th cluster. It also had better average fruit weight and yield per plant and hectare and enhanced the quality parameters such as total soluble solids, ascorbic acid content, lycopene and total sugars compared to control and other two concentrations of MS Set. Hence, using A. nodosum extract on tomato growth could be a better sustainable crop production method.
Ascophyllum nodosum, Flowering, Fruit setting, MC set, Photosynthesis, Quality, Yield
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