Nano-Fertilizer Application to Increase Growth and Yield of Sweet Pepper under Potassium Levels
Ahmed Mohamed Abd El-All*
Department of Botany, Menoufia University, Egypt
Submission: December 25, 2019, Published: January 23, 2019
*Corresponding author: Ahmed Mohamed Abd El-All, Faculty of Agriculture, Menoufia University, Shebeen El-Kom, P.O. Box 32514, Egypt.
How to cite this article: Ahmed Mohamed Abd El-All. Nano-Fertilizer Application to Increase Growth and Yield of Sweet Pepper under Potassium Levels.
Agri Res& Tech: Open Access J. 2019; 19(4): 556098. DOI: 10.19080/ARTOAJ.2019.19.556098
Background and objective: Under green-house conditions, two pot experiments were conducted an experimental farm at Faculty of Agriculture, Menoufia University in 2015 and 2016 summer seasons.
Methodology: This work aimed to study the effect of four rates of potassium fertilizer, 200, 250, 300 and 350kg/fed. and two rates of lithovit 2.5 and 5.0g/l water as a foliar application as well as their interactions, on growth characters, water relations, chemical composition, fruit yield and its components of the sweet pepper (Capasicum annuum L.) plants.
Results: It is very clearly in our results that all treatments used in this study at either levels of potassium fertilizer or lithovit levels as well as their interaction, led to an increase in all vegetative growth characters, total & relative water content, bound & free water, photosynthetic pigments, total carbohydrates, total soluble sugars, N, P, & K concentrations and yield and its components. Meanwhile it decreased proline concentration, peroxidase and phenoloxidase activity.
Conclusion: It could be recommended that, the use of potassium fertilizer interacted with lithovit application on sweet pepper led to increase the productivity of pepper plants in terms of quantity and quality.
Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is one of the most important vegetable plants in the world, on this case should be increasing its quantity and quality by researchers. Fertilizers are very important for plant growth and development. Most of the applied fertilizers are rendered unavailable to plants due to many factors, such as leaching, degradation by photolysis, hydrolysis and decomposition. Hence, it is necessary to minimize nutrient losses in fertilization and increase the yield and its components through the exploitation for new applications with the help of nanotechnology and nanomaterials. Nanotechnology opens a large scope of novel application in the fields of biotechnology and agricultural industries, because nano-particles have unique physicochemical properties, i.e. high surface area, high reactivity, tunable pore size and particle morphology . Nano-fertilizers have emerged as an alternative to conventional fertilizers for slow release and efficient use of water and fertilizers by plants . These prevent buildup of the nutrients in the soil there by eliminating the risk of eutrophication and drinking water contamination. Lithovit is a naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2) foliar spray made from limestone deposits. It enhances the plant growth and results in high productivity by means of increasing the natural
photosynthesis on supplying CO2 at optimum concentration, which is much higher than in the atmosphere and at the same time does not result in an increase of the CO2 in the atmosphere which might create a climatic problem particularly when the rate of global warming looms large over agriculture. All lithovit particles do not penetrate the stomata at once. Most of them remain as thin layer on the leaves surface and penetrate frequently when they get wet by dew at night .
Potassium foliar feeding is great significance for plants because its includes low cost, quick response to plant, small quantity of potassium and it provides compensation for lack of soil fixation determine . This experiment aimed to study the effect of potassium fertilizer and lithovit nano particles as foliar spray alone and combined with potassium, to see its effect on pepper plants growth as well as its water relation and some chemical components and yield production and its components.
Under green-house conditions, two pot experiments were conducted on a clay loamy soil at Faculty of Agriculture, Menoufia University, Menoufia Governorate, Egypt in 2015 and 2016
summer seasons. This work conducted to study the effect of four
rates of potassium fertilizer, 200kg (recommended dose), 250kg,
300kg and 350kg/fed. from potassium sulfate 48% K2O. Two
rates of lithovit (CO2 nano-fertilizer which produced by using
nanotechnology application) 2.5 and 5.0g/l as a foliar application
as well as their interactions, on growth characters, chemical
composition, fruit yield and its components of the sweet pepper
(Capasicum annuum L.) plants.
Lithovit® natural CO2 as a nano - foliar fertilizer “Made in
Germany” and is distributed by Filmchem L.td. It is a new top
quality nanotechnological fine powder created by tribodynamic
activation and micronization. Highly energized lithovit particles,
sprayed finely onto the leaf surface, are taken up directly through
the stomata and converted into carbon dioxide. Lithovit is 100%
organic calcite carbonate from natural limestone deposits,
suitable for use in organic farming in the European Community,
harmless to humans and animals and not hazardous to water
according EWGzoaz/a . The mentioned concentrations of
CO2 were used as foliar spray on pepper leaves at 20, 40 and 60
days from transplanting, respectively (Table 1). Two plants per
pot were transplanting at 1th June in both seasons in pots 30 cm
diameter, each pot filled with 7kg of clay loamy soil. The chemical
and physical characteristics of experimental soil in Table 2 are
shown according to .
After showed the aforementioned treatments and throw it’s
applied, we applied the all agriculture ministry recommended
fertilization of N, P and K for the control plants and the other
treatments. The foliar applications were spraying at 20, 40 and 60
days from transplanting. Weeds and best control as well as other
agriculture practices were used whenever necessary.
Sampling: Plant samples were taken after 75 days from
Vegetative growth characters: Root length (cm), plant height
(cm), leaf area per plant (cm2 / plant) , leaf area index (total leaf
area of plants per pot, cm2/ pot surface area, cm2) fresh and dry
weight of hole plant (g) (Plant materials were dried in an electric
oven at 70˚C for 72 hours).
Water relations: Total water content (TWC, %), free and
bound water [8,9], relative water content (RWC, %) , osmotic
pressure , transpiration rate .
Photosynthetic pigments: The photosynthetic pigments
were extracted from fresh leaf sample (fourth upper leaf) by 85%
acetone and determined according to the method described by
Wettestein’s formula in .
Chemical analysis: Total carbohydrates and total sugars
were determinate using the phenol sulfuric acid method as
described by . Antioxidant enzymes activities as peroxidase
and phynoloxidase were determined according to [11,12]. Proline
concentration was measured according the ninhydrin method of
. N, P and K were determined as a described by .
Yield and its components: fruits number per plant, fruits
weight per plant and average of fruit weight were determined.
Fruit quality: ascorbic acid (V. C) (mg/100ml juice) was
determined in fruit juice as described in , pH, total soluble
solids (TSS%) was measured using a hand refractometer as
described in , N, P and K were determined as a described by
Statistical analysis: The experimental pots were arranged in
a factorial experiment in two ways randomized block design with
six replicates. All data collected were subjected to the standard
statistical analysis following the proceeding described by ,
using the computer program of Costat Software, 1985. The
analyzed data then presented in tables.
The presented data in Table 3A & 3B showed that, the root
length, plant height, leaf area, leaf area index and dry weight of
root and shoot of pepper plants increased with increasing the
levels of potassium fertilizers when compared with the control
plants. The highest increase was recorded at the second level of
potassium (300kg/fed.) which reached about 46.15, 56.60, 14.86,
14.65, 35.64 and 47.32%, respectively.
Data in Table 3 indicate clearly that, the treatments of lithovit
foliar applications showed a significant increase in all growth
characters of pepper plants i.e. root length, plant height, leaf
area, leaf area index and dry weight of root and shoot. All growth
characters were increased with increasing the levels of lithovit
foliar applications. The highest increase was recorded at the
higher level of lithovit (5g/l) which reached about 58.39, 40.23,
31.82, 31.69, 32.26 and 19.93%, respectively.
The interaction between potassium levels and lithovit foliar
applications showed in the same table that an increase in all
growth characters aforementioned at all potassium levels, and
the sequences levels of increase at second, third and first levels of
potassium interacted with lithovit foliar applications respectively,
when compared with the control plants.
The illustrated data in Table 4A & 4B cited that, the all levels
of potassium fertilizers increased the TWC, free water, bound
water, RWC and OP in leaves of sweet pepper plants. Meanwhile,
the levels of potassium recorded a reduction in transpiration
rate. The highest increase in these measures was recorded at the
second level of potassium (300kg/fed.) by about 5.15, 29.92, 1.87,
4.35 and 24.20 %, respectively. The lithovit levels increased the
TWC, free water, RWC and OP in leaves of sweet pepper plants.
Meanwhile, the levels of Lithovit caused a reduction in bound
water and transpiration rate, and the balance in water relations
increased with increasing the levels of treatments aforementioned.
The highest increase in these measures was recorded at the
higher level of lithovit (5g/l) by about 1.05, 14.11, 0.78 and
9.13%, respectively. The same increase was recorded at the all
interactions between lithovit and potassium fertilizers. The higher
increase throws the interactions was recorded at potassium level
300kg/fed interacted with lithovit level 5.0g/l followed by 2.5g/l,
respectively when compared with the control plants.
Data in Table 5 showed that, the pepper plants fertilized
with K at all levels increased the values of leaves chlorophyll a,
b and carotenoids contents in both seasons. Whereas, at K level
300kg/fed. produced the greatest values of leaves plant pigments
On the same side, foliar application with 2.5 and 5.0g lithovit/l
significantly increased leaves concentration of chlorophyll a, b
and carotenoids as compared with the untreated plants (control)
in the both of seasons. The highest values of chlorophyll a, b and
carotenoids content in pepper leaves were obtained as a result
of foliar spraying of 5.0g lithovit/l by about 78.96, 11.42 and
67.54% when compared with the control plants. In the same
table the interaction between potassium levels and Lithovit
foliar applications recorded an increase in chlorophyll a, b and
carotenoids at all potassium levels. The sequences levels of
increases at second, third and first levels of potassium interacted
with lithovit foliar applications. The highest value throws the
interactions was recorded at potassium level 300kg/fed interacted
with lithovit level 5.0g/l respectively, when compared with the
control plants. The results in the second season are the seamed
of the first one.
Data in Table 6 showed that, the leaves chemical contents of
pepper plants which fertilized by K at all levels increased the leaves
total carbohydrates, total sugars, N%, p% and K%. Meanwhile, the
activity of peroxidase and phynoloxidase and prolien concentration
were decreased as a result of K treatments when compared with
the control plants. Whereas, at K level 300kg/fed. produced the
highest values of leaves chemical contents a aforementioned.
When regard to the content of measured chemicals and were
recorded in Table 6, the data showed that, the lithovit levels had
a significant increase in leaves chemical compositions i.e., total
carbohydrates, total sugars, N, P and K%. Meanwhile, the enzymes
activity (peroxidase and phynoloxidase) and prolien were
recorded a low concentration as a result of lithovit treatments
when compared with the control plants. The highest increase of
total carbohydrates, total sugars, nitrogen %, phosphorus % and
potassium % content in pepper leaves were obtained as a result of
foliar spraying of 5.0g lithovit/l as a compared with the untreated
At the same table the leaves chemical contents were increased
at the all interactions between potassium levels and lithovit
foliar applications at the sequence’s levels of increase at second,
third and first levels of potassium interacted with lithovit foliar
applications. The higher increase in total carbohydrates, total
sugars, N%, p % and K % was recorded at potassium level
300kg/fed interacted with lithovit level 5.0g/l respectively, when
compared with the control plants.
From the results in Tables 7 & 8, it is observed that, the fruit
weight, fruit No./plant, fruit yield/plant, straw yield, vitamin C.,
total carbohydrates, T.S.S. and protein contents in fruits of pepper
plants increased with increasing the levels of potassium fertilizers
when compared with the yield components of control plants. The
higher increase was recorded at the second level of potassium
The data in Table 7 & 8 observed that, lithovit at levels 2.5 and
5g/l. significantly increased the fruit weight, frits No. / plant, frits
yield / plant, straw yield, vitamin C., total carbohydrates, T.S.S.
and protein contents in fruits as compared with the control. The
level of lithovit 5g/l was recorded a higher level. Similar, results
were obtained in the second season. The interaction between
potassium levels and lithovit foliar applications recorded an
increase in all yield components at all levels of treatments under
studying. Therefore, the levels sequences of increase as followed
second, third and first levels of potassium interacted with lithovit
foliar applications respectively, when compared with the control
plants. The results in first and second season are seamed.
The highest potassium fertilization rate (200kg/fed.) gave
the tallest sweet pepper plants, and the highest number of leaves
and branches per plants and the highest fresh and dry weights of
leaves [15,16]. Foliar application of bio-stimulants and lithovit
with or without boron application significantly increased potato
growth parameters (i.e. Plant height, branch number per plant,
shoot fresh and dry weights, and leaf area per plant), as well as the
potato tuber number and total tuber yield per plant [17,18]. This
interaction had a significant effect on plant height and number of
fruiting branches/plant in both seasons, where the taller plants
were obtained from plants sown late on 8thJune and received the
high level of both Potasin-P (7.5cm3/l) and CO2 fertilizer (7.5g/l)
Foliar application of potassium mono phosphate (PMP)
at 200ppm concentration increased the Chlorophyll a content
[15,16,20]. Lithovit gave the highest increase in total chlorophyll
and this increase is due to the micro-size particles of lithovit
which allow it to be easily to absorb by plant as well as the lithovit
contains Mg which induces the total chlorophyll in plant .
The highest leaves chlorophyll a, b, total chlorophyll, carotenoids
contents were obtained from plants sown in early planting which
received the medium level of Potasin-P (5cm3/l) and CO2 fertilizer
as a spray at the high rate (7.5g/l) .
Sweet pepper leaves chemical composition (N, P and K) were
increased with increasing potassium fertilization . Lithovit
gave the highest increase in nutrient uptake, total sugar, total
soluble solids . The highest leaf P content in the first season
and K values in both seasons were obtained from plants sown in
early planting date (8th April) which received the high level of
Potasin-P (7.5cm3/l) and CO2 fertilizer as a spray at the high rate
(7.5g/l). The highest leaves N, total sugars and total carbohydrates
contents were obtained from plants sown in early planting date
(8th April) which received the medium level of Potasin-P (5cm3/l)
and CO2 fertilizer as a spray at the high rate (7.5g/l) .
The highest potassium fertilization rate (200kg/fed.) gave
the highest total yield, and the fruit length, average fruit weight
and vitamin C content were increased with increasing potassium fertilization . Pepper plants were affected according to the
application of mono potassium phosphate (MKP) recorded plant
yield. Foliar spray of K showed an enhancement of fruits number
and weight, as well as total acidity and vitamin C concentrations
. Lithovit gave the highest increase in some plant traits (fruit
diameter, fruit weight, fresh yield, nutrient uptake, total sugar
and total soluble solids) [17,18]. Number of fruiting branches/
plant reached its maximum from plants sown on early on 8th April
and received the high rate of both Potasin-P (7.5cm3/l) and CO2
fertilizer (7.5g/l) .
Potassium is one of the most important and essential macroelements
of plant nutrients and is also the most abundant cation
in plants. The K fertilizer importance for the formation of crop
production and its quality is known. A strong positive relationship
between K fertilizer input and grain yield has been shown .
Potassium plays essential roles in enzyme activation, protein
synthesis, photosynthesis, osmoregulation, stomatal movement,
energy transfer, phloem transport, cation-anion balance and
stress resistance . So that, the metabolic activities in the plant
cell depends entirely with K and that reflex on the plant growth,
development and its production (quantity and quality). The
importance of potassium (K) in plant nutrition and agricultural
crop production has been well documented and foliar spray
is being considered and ideal method for its application for
improvement of crop production . Moreover K+ considered to
fruit weight, color, dry matter content and final yield of tomatoes
. Moreover, foliar K application resulted in improved number
of fruits and quality attributes i.e color and ascorbic acid content
. An improvement of fruit quality due to appropriates K+
nutrition might be due to improved photosynthesis assimilation,
their translocation from leaves to fruit and increase in enzyme
activation  and increasing in vitamin C concentration .
The Foliar fertilizers from the lithovit range are the first
foliar fertilizers that enhance the photosynthesis rate by releasing
CO2 inside the leaf, intensifying the plants metabolism, while
feeding macro and micro nutrient needed by the plants for
healthy growth and development. Due to the direct interference
of lithovit in photosynthesis process and the increase in the
output of this process, this effect is due to the increase in activity
and metabolism of plant cell represented in the composition of
chlorophyll, enzymes and plant hormones and its important in
the plant growth process and development and this is reflected in
the quantity and quality of the crop of treated plants. The microsize
particles of lithovit allow it to be easily absorbed by plant as
well as its Mg content which increases total chlorophyll in plant
and finally the release of carbon dioxide in plant tissues due to
decomposition of calcium carbonate [29-31] leading to increased
photosynthesis which could explain the positive effect of lithovit
on vegetative growth.
It can be concluded that there is more promise for the use of
nano-chemical approaches in crop production instead of using
organic farming and growing public concern to minimize the use
of chemicals. The results of this study showed that foliar spray of
lithovit plus potassium fertilizer enhanced sweet pepper plants
growth, yield quality and quantity.
I extend my sincere thanks to all the employees of Botany
Department, Agriculture Faculty, Menoufia University, Egypt,
including my professors and colleagues for their support and help
me in ending this work.
The author whose name are listed immediately below
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arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or
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the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.