Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2010
Publication Date: 4/5/2010
Citation: Russo, V.M., Perkins-Veazie, P.M. 2010. Yield and nutrient content of Bell Pepper pods from plants developed from seedlings inoculated, or not, with microorganisms. HortScience. 45(3):352-358. Interpretive Summary: The activities occurring during bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) transplant production may carry over when plants are moved to the field. It is not clear whether beneficial microorganisms added to the potting medium will affect plant development and yield. Also unclear is whether use of conventional or organic production methods, or soil type (Bernow or Stigler), will alter development of plants derived from plants inoculated, or not, during production of transplants. Transplants were established at various planting dates in a Bernow or Stigler soil. Fruit yield and nutrient contents were determined. Yields and contents of some nutrients were higher on the Bernow soil. Effects on plant development and yield of other microbial formulations should be screened for use in organic production. Amending potting mix with the microorganisms tested did not provide extraordinary benefit or detriment to their use. Other microorganism combinations exist and should be screened to determine if they are effective in producing vigorous transplants and if effects in the greenhouse can be carried over to the field.
Technical Abstract: The effectiveness of microorganisms applied in production of vegetable transplants has had mixed results. Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) transplants were produced in a greenhouse using organic methods and the organic certified potting mix was either not inoculated or inoculated with beneficial bacteria or arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, or both. Other transplants were grown with a conventional potting mix which was not inoculated. Transplants were established in the field at various planting dates in a Bernow or Stigler soil and grown using conventional or organic methods. Fruit yield and nutrient contents were determined. On the Bernow soil yields of organically grown plants were similar to those of conventionally grown plants. Soil type affected yield and was higher for the Bernow soil than for the Stigler soil. Treatments had little effect on mineral content of fruit. Chlorophylls, total carotenoid and vitamin C contents of fruit from plants grown on the Stigler soil were generally lower than those from plants grown on the Bernow soil. Fruit fresh weight for plants developed from seedlings inoculated with beneficial bacteria or AM fungi was greater than that from plants developed from conventionally grown seedlings. However, inoculation did not improve fresh fruit weights over that from plants developed from organically grown, but not inoculated, seedlings. Amending potting mix with the microorganisms tested did not provide extraordinary benefit or detriment to their use. Effects on plant development and yield of other microbial formulations should be screened for use in organic production.