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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325148

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Short-term effects of composted cattle manure or cotton burr on growth, physiology and phytochemical of spinach

Author
item Xu, Chenping
item Mou, Beiquan

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Xu, C., Mou, B. 2016. Short-term effects of composted cattle manure or cotton burr on growth, physiology and phytochemical of spinach. HortScience. 51:1517-1523. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI11099-16.

Interpretive Summary: Compost is increasingly used in horticultural crop production as soil conditioner and fertilizer because of its contribution to agriculture sustainability. The short-term (35 d after transplanting) effects of composted cattle manure or cotton burr on soil fertility and spinach were evaluated in a greenhouse., Both composts improved soil fertility by increasing soil contents of nutrients and organic matter, and soil cation exchange capacity. Composted cattle manure at 5% or 10% mix rate greatly enhanced spinach growth as indicated by increased leaf number, area, fresh and dry mass (FM and DM), shoot FM and DM, and root DM. They also increased water use efficiency and shoot/root ratio, and improved the photochemistry of mature leaves. Chlorophyll content also increased at 10% mix rate. Composted cotton burr also improved spinach growth but only at 10% amendments, and was less efficient than composted cattle manure. Specific leaf area decreased and succulence increased under all compost amendment indicating that compost could improve spinach quality. All soil amendments reduced the content of total phenolic and anthocyanin, while only 10% cotton burr and 5% cattle manure (5Ca) treatments decreased flavonoid content and total antioxidant capacity. The content of carotenoid and protein increased in the 10% cattle manure (10Ca) treatment and amino acid content increased under both 5Ca and 10Ca treatments. The results indicated that compost, especially composted cattle manure, improved soil fertility, spinach production and quality, and with proper application rate enhanced nutritional value by increasing carotenoid, protein and amino acid contents while having little effect on total antioxidant capacity.

Technical Abstract: Compost is increasingly used in horticultural crop production as soil conditioner and fertilizer because of its contribution to agriculture sustainability. The short-term effects of compost on soil fertility and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) were evaluated in a greenhouse. Pots were filled with soil either without amendments (control) or mixed with 5% or 10% (v/v) composted cattle manure (5Ca or 10Ca treatments) or cotton burr (5Co or 10Co treatments). Soil fertility and spinach growth, physiology and nutritional value were measured at 35 d after transplanting. Both composts improved soil fertility by increasing soil contents of nutrients and organic matter, and soil cation exchange capacity. Both 5Ca and 10Ca treatments greatly enhanced spinach growth as indicated by increased leaf number, area, fresh and dry mass (FM and DM), shoot FM and DM, and root DM. They also increased water use efficiency and shoot/root ratio, and improved the photochemistry of mature leaves. Chlorophyll content increased only under 10Ca treatment. Composted cotton burr also improved spinach growth but only at 10% amendments and less efficient than composted cattle manure. Specific leaf area decreased and succulence increased under all compost amendment indicating that compost could improve spinach quality. All soil amendments reduced the content of total phenolic and anthocyanin, while only 10Co and 5Ca treatments decreased flavonoid content and total antioxidant capacity. The content of carotenoid and protein increased under 10Ca treatment and amino acid content increased under both 5Ca and 10Ca treatments. The results indicated that compost, especially composted cattle manure, improved soil fertility, spinach production and quality, and with proper application rate enhanced nutritional value by increasing carotenoid, protein and amino acid contents while having little effect on total antioxidant capacity.