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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 83 (6) 374-381 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2018/83.6.5
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2018 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Effects of soil properties and fertilization on quality and biological activity of Swiss chard

A. Topalović1, M. Knežević1, S. Trifunović2, M. Novaković3, M. Pešić4 and D. Đurović5
1 University of Montenegro, Biotechnical Faculty, Center for Soil Research and Melioration, Podgorica, Montenegro
2 University of Belgrade, Faculty of Chemistry, Belgrade, Serbia
3 University of Belgrade, Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy, National Institute, Belgrade, Serbia
4 University of Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research, Belgrade, Serbia
5 Institute for Public Health, Podgorica, Montenegro

Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla) is a leafy vegetable highly consumed in many parts of the world as a very popular ingredient of different diets. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effects of soil properties and fertilization on yield, mineral composition, total phenolics, antioxidant and biological activity of Swiss chard. The mineral composition of Swiss chard was generally affected by soil properties. The fertilization at 50% of recommended level (110 kg ha-1 N, 90 kg ha-1 P2O5 and 100 kg ha-1 K2O per season) affected negatively yield and on the other hand affected positively antioxidant activity, while fertilization at 150% of recommended level had a contrary effect. The available K in soil affected the yield positively. Total phenolics were in negative correlation with the yield. The positive relationship of total phenolics and content of Mn in chard was noticed. The greatest efficacy in human colorectal carcinoma cell lines was obtained by Swiss chard extract from plants fertilized at 150% of recommended level.

Keywords antioxidant activity, cell growth inhibition, colorectal carcinoma, crude extract, mineral content, total phenolics, yield

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Swiss chard possesses high nutritional value and anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities of chard extracts that are linked to bioactive molecules such as phenolic compounds. Increase in level of nitrogen fertilization over 100 kg N ha-1 produces taller and leafier plants with higher fresh weight but reduced dry matter content. The content of ascorbic acid as antioxidant rises with increase of nitrogen supply.
What are the new findings?
  • The NPK fertilization at 50% of recommended level reduces the yield and has a positive effect on antioxidant activity, while fertilization at 150% of recommended level has a contrary effect. The fertilization strategies with 50% and 100% of nutrient doses are more efficient in research of biological activity of Swiss chard extracts on multidrug resistant colorectal cancer cells (DLD1-TxR) comparing to their sensitive counterparts (DLD1), while 150% fertilization shows the same efficacy in both cell lines.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • The impact of fertilizer doses on yield and quality of Swiss chard, especially on its antioxidant and biological activity.

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Received: 12 May 2017 | Accepted: 10 September 2017 | Published: 17 December 2018 | Available online: 17 December 2018

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