Open Access

Mineral Nutrients, Physiological Disorders, Postharvest Water Loss, and PR Gene Expression in Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Fruit under Shade Nets


Shade nets can be an effective technology for producing bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) under hot climatic conditions. However, the effects of shading on fruit quality are still unclear. The objectives were to evaluate the effects of shade level on fruit mineral nutrient content, physiological disorders, and postharvest water loss. Trials were conducted in the spring–summer of 2016, 2017, and 2018 in Tifton, Georgia, USA, following a randomized complete block design with five shade levels: 0% (open field), 30%, 47%, 63%, and 80%. Shading increased the bell pepper fruit dimensions (length, diameter, and weight) in 2016 and mineral nutrient content in 2017. Fruit sunscald incidence decreased with increasing shade level, while blossom-end rot showed inconsistent responses. Postharvest fruit water loss and transpiration rates were highest in fruits from the unshaded treatment in 2016; there were no differences in fruit water loss among the shade levels. NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED 1 (NPR1) and PATHOGENESIS-RELATED 1 (PR1) genes expressed more than 1.5-fold and 10-fold, respectively, at 47% shade level compared to 80%, though not significantly. Therefore, plants grown under shading had fruit with greater size, increased mineral nutrient content, and reduced sunscald incidence compared with the unshaded control.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Plant Science, Ecology, other