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Improvement of cocktail tomato yield and consumer‐oriented quality traits by potassium fertilization is driven by the cultivar

Sonntag, Frederike, Naumann, Marcel, Pawelzik, Elke, Smit, Inga
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.7 pp. 3350-3358
color, crop yield, cultivars, fertilizer application, firmness, markets, potassium, potassium fertilizers, taste, titratable acidity, tomatoes, total soluble solids
BACKGROUND: The market for cocktail tomatoes is growing continuously, mainly because of their good taste. Titratable acids (TA), total soluble solids (TSS) and dry matter (DM) contents correlate positively with good taste. So far, the impact of different potassium (K) applications on yield and consumer‐oriented quality traits has not been comprehensively described for cultivars of smaller fruits. To fill this gap, we tested the effect of different K fertilization regimes on three cultivars of small‐sized or cocktail tomatoes. RESULTS: A positive impact on quality parameters (TSS, TA, DM, color and firmness) was detected by raising the K fertilizer application for the cocktail tomato cultivars Primavera and Yellow Submarine. The cultivar Resi showed no response to fertilization, except for TSS and TA. Yield increased significantly by higher K application only in Primavera, the most productive cultivar. The K concentration in tomato rose with increasing K application. CONCLUSION: Because TSS and TA increased in all cultivars, whereas only one cultivar showed an increase in yield, the results of the present study emphasize the importance of the application of cultivar‐specific mineral fertilizers on yield‐ and consumer‐oriented quality traits. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry