Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/31/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The conventional, commercial production of vegetables is heavily dependent upon plastic mulch, nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides, a practice that could contribute to the contamination of the environment by agrochemicals. Cover crops like hairy vetch are on-farm biological inputs that have the potential to reduce the use of plastic mulch, fertilizers and pesticides without impacting the yield or quality of the produce. Field grown fresh market tomatoes when cultivated in hairy vetch mulches were found to have reduced severity of disease and reduced defoliation as compared to plastic mulch grown plants. We hypothesized that these beneficial attributes are due to increased longevity, reduced senescence and delay in fruiting of vetch grown tomatoes. Therefore, differences between the two cultivation practices in the steady-state levels of leaf proteins known to be associated with senescence and disease tolerance were quantified: large and small subunits of Rubisco, cytosolic glutamine synthetase, plastidic glutamine synthetase, heat shock protein-70, binding protein, basic chitinase, and photosystem proteins. The data indicated that vetch-grown tomato plants have the ability to stabilize proteins central to disease suppression, delayed senescence, and chaperone function.