Effects of environment on the uptake and distribution of calcium in tomato and on the incidence of blossom-end rot
Studies of Ca uptake and distribution in relation to environmental variables were used to relate Ca status of tomato fruit to blossom-end rot (BER) incidence. Ca uptake was highly correlated with solar radiation and root temperature. The rate of Ca uptake decreased linearly with increasing salinity. High humidity reduced Ca import by the leaves but increased that by the fruit. While total plant dry weight was reduced more than fruit dry weight by salinity, total Ca uptake and the Ca content of the fruit were decreased similarly. Thus, the concentration of calcium in the fruit was substantially reduced by salinity. The distal half of the fruit contained less Ca than the proximal half. The lowest %Ca was found in the distal placenta and locular tissues, where BER first develops. The incidence of BER was often stimulated more by high salinity achieved with the addition of major nutrients than with NaCl. The cause of BER is usually an interaction between the effects of irradiance and ambient temperature on fruit growth and the effects of environmental stress on calcium uptake and distribution within the whole plant.
Key wordsblossom-end rot calcium greenhouse environment humidity root-temperature salinity tomato transpiration
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