Effect of micronutrients on cucumber postharvest quality

MSc-thesis abstract (submitted 13 March 2017): Micronutrients are usually required in small amounts for the proper function of plants and the amount that is needed depends on the organism. The importance of micronutrients is concluded from the fact that they can be found in all organisms and when deficiency occurs serious problems can be caused. In this study, we will focus on cucumber fruit by applying calcium and boron. Calcium is an essential element for the cell wall structure and for the cellulose interconnection. It has a role in many processes such as cell wall stability and membrane integrity. Boron stimulates the synthesis of hemicelluloses and other related cell wall materials.

In this research, cucumber fruit were used to study the effect of the micronutrients on postharvest quality. The experiment had two phases, a greenhouse experiment and an artificial feeding experiment.
Micronutrients were applied in a different way for each experiment but the concentrations were the same (calcium 610ppm and boron 12ppm). In both experiments the fruits were immature.

After the application, the fruits were stored to study their postharvest performance.
Application of micronutrients improved the shelf life through maintaining higher firmness levels, increased the carbohydrates concentration and delayed the colour loss of the fruits compared to the control treatment (water).

Keywords: calcium, boron, micronutrients, firmness, colour, carbohydrates, cucumber, postharvest quality