Seed treatment with endophytic fungi enhances yield and nutritional quality of seed-propagated artichokes

M. Cardarelli, Y. Rouphael, S. De Pascale, P. Bonini, G. Colla
The new trend in modern horticulture is focusing back on beneficial soil microorganisms, for their role played in reducing the input of chemical fertilizers and pesticides improving crop performance, resilience to abiotic stressors and modulating the quality of vegetables. In a recent conceptual review paper the quality of fresh vegetables has been defined as 'a dynamic composite of physicochemical properties and evolving consumer perception, which embraces organoleptic, nutritional and bioactive components'. The use of microbial-plant biostimulants (PBs) to boost crop productivity of important vegetable crops such as globe artichoke has been previously demonstrated, whereas limited information is available concerning the effect of seed treatment with microbial inoculants on nutritional and functional quality attributes of artichoke heads. The objective of this experiment was to assess the yield, and head quality characteristics in terms of shape index, head color, nitrates, antioxidant activity, and total polyphenols of two-seed propagated artichoke cultivars 'Romolo' and 'Istar' in relation to seed treatment with a consortium of endophytic fungi containing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Trichoderma koningii. Microbial-inoculated plants of the two cultivars exhibited higher primary and total fresh marketable yields, and even higher antioxidant activity and total phenols in comparison to untreated control plants. Taking all together, the seed treatment with endophytic fungi is considered a valuable biotechnological tool to increase yield and head quality of globe artichoke hybrids.
Cardarelli, M., Rouphael, Y., De Pascale, S., Bonini, P. and Colla, G. (2020). Seed treatment with endophytic fungi enhances yield and nutritional quality of seed-propagated artichokes. Acta Hortic. 1284, 57-64
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1284.7
Rhizoglomus irregulare, Funneliformis mosseae, Trichoderma koningii, Cynara cardunculus subsp. scolymus L., product quality, seed treatments, seed coating

Acta Horticulturae