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Some effects of micronutrient elements upon certain enzymes, vitamin C content, and general metabolism of the tomato Magel, Harold Alexander


Tomatoes of the Vetomold 121 variety were grown in sand cultures in the University of British Columbia greenhouse. Interiors of clay pots, in which the plants were grown, were painted with asphalt several times to prevent the plants from absorbing micronutrient elements from the materials used to manufacture the pots. Ripe tomatoes were analyzed for vitamin C, ash, and total soluble sugar; green fruit was analyzed for catalase; and plant leaves were analyzed for catalase, oxidase and peroxidase activity. The fruit yield and plant weight were also recorded. Plants receiving boron in their nutrient solutions were observed to be less susceptible to tomato leafmold than plants receiving no boron. Boron was also observed to stimulate fibrous root growth. Boron significantly decreased oxidase but increased catalase and peroxidase in the leaves, and significantly increased plant weight. Trends indicate that boron also increased yield and depressed the sugar content of the fruit. Copper tended to increase plant weight, and decrease ash in the ripe tomatoes and catalase in the leaves. This micronutrient also significantly decreased peroxidase. Results indicated a tendency for manganese to increase vitamin C in ripe tomatoes and catalase in green fruit, but to depress sugar, ash, yield, and plant weight. Manganese significantly reduced catalase and peroxidase activity in the leaves. A significant increase in peroxidase and a significant decrease In catalase of tomato plant leaves was effected by molybdenum. Fruit yield was depressed somewhat by the addition of molybdenum to a complete nutrient solution. Zinc appeared to increase catalase in green fruit and oxidase in tomato leaves; however, it did significantly increase plant weight and decrease leaf catalase.

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