|Authors: ||M. Pestana, P.J. Correia, M.G. Miguel, A. de Varennes, J. Abadia, E. de Araújo Faria|
|Keywords: ||chlorophill, Citrus, floral analysis, fruit quality, iron|
Different foliar treatments were applied to evaluate the recovery of iron chlorosis of orange trees (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. cv. ‘Valencia late’) grown on a calcareous soil.
The treatments were: Fe (II) sulphate (500 mg Fe L-1), sulphuric acid (0.5 mM H2SO4), Fe (III)-chelate (Hampiron 654 GS, 120 mg Fe L-1) and distilled water as a control.
The recovery from iron chlorosis was evaluated with the SPAD-502 apparatus and the values converted to total chlorophyll concentration.
The effects of treatments on the mineral composition of leaves and flowers, and the size and quality of fruits were evaluated.
The residual effect of treatments was also evaluated one year later.
In orange trees, the use of frequent foliar sprays with Fe was able to alleviate Fe chlorosis and prevented yield and quality losses caused by Fe chlorosis.
Compared with the control, sprays of Fe (II) sulphate led to higher concentrations of chlorophyll, Fe and Zn in leaves and flowers at the end of the experimental period, and significantly improved fruit size and quality.
Leaf Fe concentration increased after the sulphuric acid spray, but this treatment did not affect fruit quality parameters.
The mineral composition of flowers and leaves was correlated with some fruit quality parameters obtained one year later.
These results suggest that foliar sprays with Fe could help to avoid fruit quality losses caused by Fe chlorosis in citrus orchards.
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