Zinc sulfate, sugar alcohol zinc sprays improve apple quality

Nov 19, 2013
Scientists determined that zinc sprays applied at critical times in the growing cycle can enhance the quality of apples. Based on a cost analysis, the authors recommended application of sprays to apple leaves at four weeks before harvest. Credit: Dr. Ming Li

Zinc is vital for the healthy growth and reproduction of all organisms. In plants, zinc plays a key role in essential functions such as carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis, and sugar and starch synthesis. Apple, one of the world's most popular fruits, tends to be highly susceptible to zinc deficiency. A new study in HortTechnology recommends new protocols for using zinc sprays at critical stages on apple trees in order to enhance fruit quality.

Researchers sprayed 'Gala' and 'Fuji' in China with zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) and sugar alcohol zinc separately during four different developmental stages: 2 weeks before budbreak, 3 weeks after bloom, the termination of spring shoot growth, and 4 weeks before harvest. They then harvested the apples at maturity and analyzed the for quality and zinc concentration.

According to the report, zinc sprays during the four different developmental stages increased zinc concentration of peeled and washed fruit at harvest without phytotoxicity. The treatments 3 weeks after bloom and 4 weeks before harvest increased average fruit weight of both 'Gala' and 'Fuji' apples. Other combinations of treatments were determined to increase fruit firmness, soluble sugar, and vitamin C levels in the cultivars. The scientists said that the effects of sugar alcohol zinc applications were equal to and "more pronounced" than those of ZnSO4.

"Although the apple trees showed no symptoms and the leaf zinc nutrition was at a low level, continuing zinc sprays on these trees was required to increase ," the researchers said. "We found that a single spray of sugar alcohol zinc was equal to or more effective than zinc sulfate at being absorbed by apple fruit tissue and improving fruit quality for trees grown under field conditions."

These experimental results offer new strategies for apple growers. Based on a cost analysis, the authors recommend that growers spray ZnSO4 or sugar alcohol zinc, with 0.1% and 0.04% nitrogen in the spraying solution, on the abaxial/adaxial surfaces of apple leaves to runoff at 4 weeks before harvest.

Explore further: A link between zinc transport and diabetes

More information: horttech.ashspublications.org/… nt/23/4/490.abstract

Provided by American Society for Horticultural Science

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A link between zinc transport and diabetes

Sep 24, 2013

Individuals with a mutation in the gene encoding a zinc transporter, SLC30A8 have an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin granules that are released from pancreatic β cells contain high levels of zinc; however, ...

Zinc, proteins, and an essential cellular balancing act

Sep 30, 2013

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made a discovery that, if replicated in humans, suggests a shortage of zinc may contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which have been linked to defective ...

Pneumonia wonder drug: Zinc saves lives

Feb 08, 2012

Respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, are the most common cause of death in children under the age of five. In a study looking at children given standard antibiotic therapy, new research published in BioMed Central's ...

Recommended for you

Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after five centuries

1 hour ago

A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig. Extracted from a sixteenth century pig found at the site of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, the data obtained indicates that ...

Spy on penguin families for science

3 hours ago

Penguin Watch, which launches on 17 September 2014, is a project led by Oxford University scientists that gives citizen scientists access to around 200,000 images of penguins taken by remote cameras monitoring ...

User comments : 0