Impact of Organic Amendments on Biochemical Characteristics of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.)

Impact of Organic Amendments on Biochemical Characteristics of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.)

Arifa Nazir1 , Zubair Ahmad Dar2 , Javeed Iqbal Ahmad Bhat2 , Azra Amin2 , Urba Ramzan3

1Division of Basic Sciences, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, 190025, Jammu and Kashmir, India

2Division of Environmental Sciences, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, 190025 Jammu and Kashmir, India

3Department of Environmental Science, SP College Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir,

Corresponding Author Email:



A pot experiment was carried out to study the impact of organic amendments on the biochemical characteristics of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.) at the experimental farm, SKUAST-Kashmir, Shalimar. The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with 3 replications. The experiment comprised of nine treatment combinations of sewage sludge (SS), aquatic weed compost (AWC) and recommended nitrogen dose (RND)  viz., T1 (100% RND), T2 (100% AWC), T3   (100% SS), T4 (30% AWC + 70% RND), T5 (30% SS + 70% RND), T6 (50% AWC + 50% RND), T7 (50% SS + 50% RND), T8 (30% AWC + 30% SS + 40% RND), and T9 (50% AWC + 50% SS). The study revealed that biochemical parameters viz., total phenols (mg kg-1), β-carotene content (mg kg-1), lycopene content (mg %), carotenoid content (mg g-1), total chlorophyll (mg g-1) were significantly higher in T5 i.e. 9.62, 11.87, 13.03, 2.66 and 2.14 as compared to other treatments including T1 (RND) i.e. 9.18, 11.83, 12.78, 2.49 and 2.09 respectively whereas elevated levels of ascorbic acid content (mg %), was recorded under T3 i.e. 22.94 while compared to other treatments including T1 (RND) i.e. 19.81. The study concludes with the findings that the application of T5 (30% SS + 70% RND) exhibited better biochemical characteristics in tomato.


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            Integrated use of chemical fertilizers with organic matter can help for a sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture production in soils low in organic matter. Sewage sludge being an organic in origin, it supplies nutrients slowly, and can maintain crop yield level, increases chlorophyll and carbohydrate content for several years after application. Residual effects of organic materials on soil properties can contribute in improvement in soil quality for several years after application ceases [1-2].

Besides that, utilization of organic manure in agriculture is recommended for retaining productivity of soils, reducing the usage of synthetic fertilizers, improving economy in agriculture and minimizing the environmental problems [3]. Hence application of organic-rich waste materials such as sewage sludge and aquatic weeds to soils can also have a beneficial effect on soil physical, chemical and biological properties. These organic amendments generally contain useful compounds of potential environmental value. Sewage sludge, being organic waste, is a good source of plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and other plant nutrients like boron, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum and zinc depending on the specific nature of the sludge material [4]. Micronutrients like iron, copper, manganese and zinc functions as precursors of many enzyme systems in plants. All of these are supplied by sewage sludge in adequate amount at proper time [5]. This study was conducted in order to determine the effects of different doses of organic amendments on biochemical characteristics growth parameters of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.)

Material and Methods

Experimental design

The present study was carried out in the year 2018 at experimental field in pots located in Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir Shalimar, India. The experiment comprised of nine treatment combinations of sewage sludge, aquatic weed compost and inorganic fertilizers viz., T1 (100% RND), T2 (100% AWC), T3 (100% SS), T4 (30% AWC + 70% RND), T5 (30% SS + 70% RND), T6 (50% AWC + 50% RND), T7 (50% SS + 50% RND), T8 (30% AWC + 30% SS + 40% RND), and T9 (50% AWC + 50% SS) with triplicates in Completely Randomized Design.

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill Var. Shalimar-1) was selected for the current study (Fig. 1). Organic amendments (sewage sludge and aquatic weed compost) were air dried and then mixed with soil in different fraction (w/w %) as specified fifteen days before transplantation.

Fig. 1: Crop during vegetative and productive stage

Quality parameters

            The lycopene content of the fresh ripe fruit was measured by using a spectrophotometer as proposed by Rangana (1986). Ascorbic acid of tomato fruit was estimated by the method as described by Rangana (1986), using 2, 6-dichlorophenol indophenol as dye. Total phenolics were determined by spectrophotometric measurement of blue colored complex by the reaction of phenols with phosphomolybdic acid in Folin ciocalteu reagent in alkaline medium (Bray and Thorpe, 1954). β-carotene of tomato fruit was estimated by the method as described by Rangana (1986). Carotenoid content were estimated by [6]. The contents of chlorophyll-a, chlorophyll-b and total chlorophyll were estimated according to the method given by [7] using dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO).

            Data recorded during the experiment was subjected to statistical analysis using SPSS Version 18. The experimental results were subjected to ANOVA. The mean ± SD (standard deviation) were subjected to Duncan’s multiple range test at p<0.05 level.

Results and Discussion

The data on total phenols in tomato as affected by different sewage sludge and aquatic weed compost along with recommended nitrogen dose are presented in Table 1. The results revealed that while comparing all nine treatments significant increase in total phenols was recorded in T5 (9.62) which was at par with RND (T1; 9.18). These results are in conformity with the findings of [8] in which higher phenols were reported when organic and inorganic amendments were applied in combination as compared to individual application.

            A perusal of data presented in Table 1 exhibited substantial influence of different treatments on β-carotene (mg kg-1), carotenoid(mg g-1)andlycopene content (mg %)of tomato. Among nine treatments under study, elevated levels of β-carotene, carotenoid andlycopene were observed inT5 (11.87, 2.66 and 13.03) which was at par with RND (T1; 11.83, 2.49 and 12.78), respectively. The lone application of organic amendments observed decline in β-carotene, carotenoidandlycopene content. [9] reported that significantly higher β-carotene was recorded when organic and inorganic amendments were supplied in combination as compared to individual applications. Our results are in conformity with the findings of [10] who reported that carotenoid content of tomato fruit were found maximum in sewage sludge treatment in combination with NPK when compared with rest of the treatments. [11] who reported that organic and inorganic treatments at higher rates recorded more lycopene than at lower rates including control. This could be ascribed to mineralization and effective utilization of plant nutrients.

Table 1: Impact of organic amendments on biochemical parameters of tomato fruit

                                       Parameters TreatmentsCarotenoid content (mg g-1)Lycopene content (mg %)β–carotene (mg kg-1)Total Phenols (mg kg-1)
T1 (100% RND)2.4912.7811.839.18
T2 (100% AWC)0.959.599.458.32
T3 (100% SS)1.4210.3210.008.67
T4 (30% AWC + 70% RND)2.4212.0610.809.04
T5 (30% SS + 70% RND)2.6613.0311.879.62
T6 (50% AWC + 50% RND)2.0111.6310.398.76
T7  (50% SS + 50% RND)2.2912.0110.448.82
T(30% AWC + 30% SS + 40% RND)1.7310.8710.138.71
T9 (50% AWC+ 50% SS)1.1110.269.728.43
C.D. (p≤0.05)0.100.670.570.31

            The data pertaining to chlorophyll a, b and total chlorophyll content in tomato is presented in Table 2.Among nine treatments statistically superior results exhibited in T5 (1.55, 0.59 and 2.14) which was at par with RND (T1; 1.53, 0.56 and 2.09). The lone application of organic amendments observed further reduction in chlorophyll content. The positive effect of sewage sludge in combination with chemical fertilizers on the synthesis of chlorophyll may be attributed to the availability of nitrogen supplied by sewage sludge and chemical fertilizers, an essential component in the structure of chlorophyll [12-14]. Our results are in conformity with the finding of [15] in which dehydrated sewage sludge in combination with chemical fertilizers has a significant effect on the health of the crop and increases its chlorophyll content as compared to control.

            The data pertaining to ascorbic acid with regard to effect of different treatments are presented in Table 2.In contrast, the content of ascorbic acid (mg %) was found highest in T3 (22.94) followed by T9 (22.82) as compared to RND (T1; 19.86). With the increase in proportion of organic amendments with respect to RND an increase in ascorbic acid was observed. Ascorbic acid, a natural antioxidant, may have scavenged the effect of free radicals generated by heavy metals [16-17]. Ascorbic acid was found maximum in sewage sludge treatment when compared with rest of the treatments as heavy metal content in sewage sludge has increased the vitamin C content of tomato fruits [17].

Table 2: Impact of organic amendments on Photosynthetic pigments and Ascorbic acid of Tomato

                  Parameters TreatmentsChlorophyll a               (mg g-1)Chlorophyll b                       (mg g-1)Total Chlorophyll (mg g-1)Ascorbic Acid    (mg %)
T1 (100% RND)1.530.562.0919.81
T2 (100% AWC)
T3 (100% SS)1.280.371.6522.94
T4 (30% AWC + 70% RND)1.500.512.0120.19
T5 (30% SS + 70% RND)1.550.592.1421.54
T6 (50% AWC + 50% RND)1.370.431.8020.76
T7  (50% SS + 50% RND)1.460.481.9422.21
T(30% AWC + 30% SS + 40% RND)1.320.391.7121.83
T9 (50% AWC+ 50% SS)1.250.331.5822.82
C.D. (p≤0.05)


From the present study, it can be concluded that the crop has responded well to organic amendments in terms of biochemical attributes. The negative environmental effects brought on by the dumping of aquatic weed compost and sewage sludge will be diminished by using them as organic manure.


Authors are grateful to the staff members of Division of Basic Science and Environmental Sciences, SKUAST-K, for extending their help to use the department laboratory for computational purpose

Conflict of Interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest


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