Analysis of SPAD Values and Chlorophyll Content of Organic Vegetables under Protected System

AUTHOR: Bimal K. Chetri

ABSTRACT

Physiology of plants is greatly influenced when exposed to various environmental conditions including induced factors such as protected systems, soil condition and nutrient application. This study aimed to evaluate the change in leaf greenness given the vital role that plant pigments play in the photosynthetic process, physiological condition and eventually their role in plant growth. Other objective was to develop organic management option for organic growers in protected system (S) like in Polyhouse (S1) and Shadenet (S2) focusing on use of organics on three different green leafy vegetable crops viz. Indian spinach (C1), Fenugreek (C2) and Amaranthus (C3) employing split-split plot design. The SPAD readings and chlorophyll content analysis were taken at 3 different growth stages (20, 30 and 40 days after sowing). Analyses were performed in triplicates (n= 3) using agricolae package in R statistical software. Two-way ANOVA with mean separation by Tukey’s Least Significant Difference (LSD) at α =0.05 was used to compare differences between systems (S1/2) organic treatments (NM1-5) and their interactions. Results showed SPAD values, chlorophyll content and chl.a./.b. ratio were significantly higher in S1 than in S2. Similarly, system-wise and treatment-wise total dry weight were significantly higher in S1 than in S2 at the level of p<0.001 for all 3 growth stages (GSs). Mean comparison between (S1/2:C1-3) and (S1/2: NM1-5) interaction was significant at the probability level of ככ p<0.01. Treatments (NM1−5) effect on mean SPAD value and total chl. content was insignificant. Tukey’s HSD method was used for pair-wise comparisons. LSD test for SPAD values and total chl. were significant over GSs and between interactions at p<0.001 level. Chl.a., chl.b. and total chl. content varied significantly between ((S1/2: NM1−5) and C1−3: S1/2) interaction at the level of p<0.01. Chl.a./.b. ratio was higher in S2 compared to S1. Chl.b. was significantly higher than chl.a. in both the systems (S1/2) and between systems it was higher in S2. This study suggests positive correlation between SPAD values, chlorophyll and total dry weight (DW) (p<0.0) for all three crops.

Keywords: SPAD, Chlorophyll Content,Organics,Vegetables,Protected System

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