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The effect of temperature on growth and chemical composition of Chinese cabbage seedlings in spring period

Andrzej Kalisz, Stanisław Cebula

Department of Vegetable Crops
Agricultural University in Kraków
29 Listopada 54, 31-425 Kraków, Poland

A two-year experiment, conducted in spring period, was carried out to analyse the growth and content of certain compounds of Chinese cabbage seedlings produced in different thermal conditions. A part of the plants was kept in a heated greenhouse (the control group), while the remaining ones were exposed to natural low non-freezing temperature for the last 16 days before the end of the raising period (in an unheated greenhouse).

The growth of the plants held in low temperature conditions was slower than that of the control. It was clearly observed on the basis of measurements held at different stages of seedling development. The height of the control plants increased in time from 1.2-1.7 cm to 7.4-13.4 cm, while those of other temperature treatments from 1.0-1.6 cm to 4.4-10.1 cm, in consecutive years. Similarly, at higher temperatures the seedlings showed faster leaf development (from 0.7-0.8 to 5.6-6.8 leaves) in comparison to plants subjected to low temperatures (from 0.8-0.8 to 4.0-4.6 leaves). Such a response of plants to differentiated growth temperature was also confirmed at the end of the raising period when some morphological parameters were compared. At low temperature, the final size of Chinese cabbage plants was significantly smaller than that of the plants grown in more beneficial conditions. As noted, differences between treatments reached on average 2.6 cm in the height, 1.7 in the number of leaves and 6.8 cm2 in the area of single leaf. Seedlings subjected to low temperature also showed decrease in fresh and dry matter content (by 3.35 g plant-1 and 0.98%, respectively) and they usually accumulated lower amounts of soluble sugar (by 0.44% f.m.). However, there was no significant effect of the temperature conditions on the chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotenoids content in Chinese cabbage seedlings.

Kalisz A., Cebula S., 2006. The effect of temperature on growth and chemical composition of Chinese cabbage seedlings in spring period. Folia Horticulturae 18/1: 3-15.