Application of humic acids, chitosan and mycorrhizal fungus influence pepper growth and development
The application of biofertilizers and biostimulants influence numerous physiological crop responses, with which potentiated production can be achieved and crop quality improved. The use of these products can reduce synthetic fertilization besides improving plant tolerance to stress. Therefore, research was performed with the objective of evaluating the effect of chitosan, mycorrhizal fungi and humic acids on growth and development of pepper varieties under protected conditions. A completely randomized design with a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement was used with three replications, where the first factor was varieties (Magaly and Lycal) and the second one biostimulants: humic acids (1:30 v/v), chitosan (3 g L-1 of water) and mycorrhizal fungi (20 g of spores ml-1), and one control (control) for each variety (without bioactive application). The results showed that the three bioactive agents studied increased seed germination from 11.66 to 16.67% while emergence was enhanced by humic acids and chitosan. On the other hand, humic acids produced plants of higher height at 25 and 45 days after sowing (dap), and stems of higher diameter, which in turn increased seedling fresh and dry biomass (339.38 and 106.72 g). In the same way, they influenced fruit increase per plant (15.33 fruit), length, diameter and weight (12.22 cm, 43.33 mm and 92.22 g), which is why higher values were generated in the Magaly variety yield with 29.16 Mg ha-1. The Magaly variety significantly outperformed Lycal variety in terms of germination (96.67%), emergence (95%), plant height, and stem diameter (25 and 45 dap).