Pre-sowing magnetic treatments of tomato seeds increase the growth and yield of plants

Authors

  • A. De Souza,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Non-Ionizing Radiation, Center for Environmental Research, Services and Technologies, Agricultural Research Institute “Jorge Dimitrov,” Granma, Cuba
    • Laboratory of Non-Ionizing Radiation, Center for Environmental Research, Services and Technologies, Agricultural Research Institute “Jorge Dimitrov,” Apartado 33, Bayamo CP 85100, Granma, Cuba.
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  • D. Garcí,

    1. Laboratory of Non-Ionizing Radiation, Center for Environmental Research, Services and Technologies, Agricultural Research Institute “Jorge Dimitrov,” Granma, Cuba
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  • L. Sueiro,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Protection, Center for Environmental Research, Services and Technologies, Agricultural Research Institute “Jorge Dimitrov,” Granma, Cuba
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  • F. Gilart,

    1. National Center for Applied Electromagnetism (CNEA), University of Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
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  • E. Porras,

    1. Laboratory of Non-Ionizing Radiation, Center for Environmental Research, Services and Technologies, Agricultural Research Institute “Jorge Dimitrov,” Granma, Cuba
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  • L. Licea

    1. Laboratory of Non-Ionizing Radiation, Center for Environmental Research, Services and Technologies, Agricultural Research Institute “Jorge Dimitrov,” Granma, Cuba
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Abstract

The effects of pre-sowing magnetic treatments on growth and yield of tomato (cv Campbell-28) were investigated under field conditions. Tomato seeds were exposed to full-wave rectified sinusoidal non-uniform magnetic fields (MFs) induced by an electromagnet at 100 mT (rms) for 10 min and at 170 mT (rms) for 3 min. Non-treated seeds were considered as controls. Plants were grown in experimental plots (30.2 m2) and were cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. During the vegetative and generative growth stages, samples were collected at regular intervals for growth rate analyses, and the resistance of plants to geminivirus and early blight was evaluated. At physiological maturity, the plants were harvested from each plot and the yield and yield parameters were determined. In the vegetative stage, the treatments led to a significant increase in leaf area, leaf dry weight, and specific leaf area (SLA) per plant. Also, the leaf, stem, and root relative growth rates of plants derived from magnetically treated seeds were greater than those shown by the control plants. In the generative stage, leaf area per plant and relative growth rates of fruits from plants from magnetically exposed seeds were greater than those of the control plant fruits. At fruit maturity stage, all magnetic treatments increased significantly (P < .05) the mean fruit weight, the fruit yield per plant, the fruit yield per area, and the equatorial diameter of fruits in comparison with the controls. At the end of the experiment, total dry matter was significantly higher for plants from magnetically treated seeds than that of the controls. A significant delay in the appearance of first symptoms of geminivirus and early blight and a reduced infection rate of early blight were observed in the plants from exposed seeds to MFs. Pre-sowing magnetic treatments would enhance the growth and yield of tomato crop. Bioelectromagnetics 27:247–257, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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