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Optical characteristics of greenhouse plastic films affect yield and some quality traits of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) subjected to different nitrogen doses

  • Autori: Di Mola I.; Ottaiano L.; Cozzolino E.; Sabatino L.; Sifola M.I.; Mormile P.; El-Nakhel C.; Rouphael Y.; Mori M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Light and nitrogen strongly affect the growth, yield, and quality of food crops, with greater importance in green leafy vegetables for their tendency to accumulate nitrate in leaves. The purpose of this research was to explore the effect of two greenhouse films (Film A and B) on yield, and quality of spinach grown under different nitrogen regimes (not fertilized—N0%; sub-optimal N dose—N50%; optimal N dose—N100%). Film A and Film B were used as clear and diffused light films, with 75% and 87% thermicity, and 85% and 90% total transmittivity, respectively, where only Film B had a UV-B window. Film B elicited an increase in yield (22%) and soil–plant analysis development (SPAD) index (4.6%) compared to the clear film, but did not affect chlorophyll a, b, and total chlorophyll content. In addition, the diffuse film significantly decreased ascorbic acid in the crop but had no effect on lipophilic antioxidant activity and phenols content, but decreased ascorbic acid content. Finally, nitrate content was strongly increased both by nitrogen dose (about 50-fold more than N0%) and greenhouse films (about six-fold higher under diffuse light film), but within the legal limit fixed by European Commission. Therefore, irrespective of N levels, the use of diffuse-light film in winter boosts spinach yield without depressing quality.