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Foliar Applied Potassium: Effects on Cantaloupe Quality. Gene Lester, Ph.D. Research Plant Physiologist Weslaco, Texas. 1. Enzyme activation 2. Protein synthesis 3. Cell extension 4. Production of Chloroplasts 5. Transport of Sugars – leaf to fruit 6. Unloading of Sugars – into fruits.

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foliar applied potassium effects on cantaloupe quality
Foliar Applied Potassium: Effects on Cantaloupe Quality

Gene Lester, Ph.D.

Research Plant Physiologist

Weslaco, Texas

slide2
1.Enzyme activation

2.Protein synthesis

3. Cell extension

4.Production of Chloroplasts

5.Transport of Sugars – leaf to fruit

6.Unloading of Sugars – into fruits

slide3
Ca – fruit firmness, membrane stability

and extends shelf-life

  • B – Carbohydrate metabolism, sugar

transport

  • Zn – Carbohydrate metabolism,

membrane stability

  • Mg – Photosynthesis, CO2 fixation
  • NO3 – Carbohydrate demand
slide5
Plant derived K via the soil; Availability problems are due to
  • Soil K concentration
  • Soil pH – pH 8 and lower
  • Moisture conditions
  • K buffering capacity
slide6
Quantity of K absorbed by plant roots
  • Transport demand (light, wind, temp.)
  • Soil type (clay > sandy)
  • Root metabolism (extraction efficiency)
  • *Uptake competition (Ca and Mg)
  • *Root tip age (younger > older)
  • *Root growth stage (active > non-active)
  • *Problem: the most efficient and abundant uptake of K is prior to fruiting
slide7
Study: potential solution to soil derived K availability problems in melons
  • Foliar spray: K-metalosate @ 24% K
  • Foliar applications – during fruit growth and maturation
  • Timing – None, weekly, bi-weekly
  • Greenhouse plants – potting mix
  • Regular complete soil fertigation schedule which included K
slide9
Analyses were
  • Days to maturity
  • Fruit weight
  • Fruit firmness
  • K concentration
  • Soluble solids concentration SSC
  • Sugars
  • Ascorbic acid - derived from glucose
  • B-carotene - derived from chloroplasts
summary weekly applications of foliar k applied to melons
Summary: weekly applications of foliar K applied to melons
  • Reduces days to maturity
  • Increases SSC
  • Increases fruit firmness
  • Increases fructose content – sweeter less calories
  • Increases total sugar content
  • Increases ascorbic acid (Vit. C) content
  • Increasedb-carotene (pro Vit. A) content
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