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Print version ISSN 0102-0536
PORTO, Mônica L et al. SPAD index for nitrogen status diagnosis of zucchini plants. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp. 311-315. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362011000300009.
The employment of SPAD index for N status diagnosis of crops has been largely studied in recent years. However, conclusive studies about its usefulness in zucchini plants were not found in literature. The objective of this study was to evaluate the employment of SPAD index for N status diagnosis of zucchini plants (cv. Caserta). The experiment was carried out in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, in a randomized block design with five rates of mineral N (0, 50, 100, 200 and 400 kg/ha), with four replications. At the early flowering stage, total chlorophyll concentration, SPAD index and total N concentration in the fourth fully expanded leaf from the apex of zucchini plants were evaluated. The total chlorophyll concentration, SPAD index and total N concentration in zucchini leaves increased following a quadratic model as a function of the N rates. The estimated critical levels of total chlorophyll concentration, SPAD index and total N concentration on zucchini leaves responsible for maximum fruit yield were 5.12 mg/g of fresh matter, 55.62 units and 3.97 dag/kg of dry matter, respectively. Significant linear and positive correlation between the evaluated characteristics was observed. The results indicate that the SPAD index can be used for N status diagnosis of zucchini plants
Keywords : Cucurbita pepo; chlorophyll; mineral nutrition.