Effect of foliar application of iron and zinc on some quantitative and qualitative attributes of apple fruit ‘Delbar estival’

Document Type : Full Paper


1 Associate Professor, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Former M. Sc. Student, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Professor, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


This study was carried out on the effect of iron and zinc foliar applications on quantity and quality trait of apple ‘Delbar estival’ fruit. The research experiment was carried out as factorial in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications on 8-year-old ‘Delbar estival’ apple trees on M9, trained to Y system in Horticultural Department, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran. During growth season, iron chelate (Fe-EDDHA) in three levels (0, 50, 100 mg/l) and zinc sulfate in three levels (0, 5, 10 mg/l) were sprayed 30, 60 and 90 days after full-bloom. Harvested fruits were transferred to cold storage with 0±1˚C and 85-90% relative humidity and kept for 5 months. In order to measure the treatments effects on qualitative and quantitative fruit traits, samples were assessed at harvest time and monthly intervals during cold storage. Results showed that increased Fe concentration caused enhancement of fruit flesh firmness, vitamin C, soluble solids, antioxidant content and dry matter. Zn could increase vitamin C, soluble solids, dry matter but reduced flesh firmness and total phenols. It can be concluded that, iron and zinc application was suitable for improving the quality indexes for this apple cultivar.


  1. Aboutalebi, A. & Hassanzadeh, H. (2013). Effect of iron and zinc on sweet lime (Citrus limmetta) fruit quantity and quality in calcareous soils. International Journal of Farming and Allied Sciences, 2 (18), 675-677.
  2. Alloway, B.J. (2008). Zinc in soils and crop nutrition. International Zinc Association Brussel, Belgium.
  3. Alvarez-Fernandez, A., Melgar, J.C., Abadia, J. & Abadia, A. (2011). Effects of moderate and severe iron deficiency chlorosis on fruit yield, appearance and composition in pear (Pyrus communis L.) and peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch). Environmental and Experimental Botany, 71 (2), 280-286.
  4. Alvarez-Fernandez, A., Paniagua, P., Abadia, J. & Abadia, A. (2003). Effects of Fe deficiency chlorosis on yield and fruit quality in peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51 (19), 5738-5744.
  5. Amaliotis, D., Velemis, D., Bladenopoulou, S. & Karapetsas, N. (2002). Leaf nutrient levels of strawberries (cv. Tudla) in relation to crop yield. Acta Horticulturae, 567, 447-450.
  6. Amiri, M.E., Fallahi, E. & Golchin, A. (2008). Influence of foliar and ground fertilization on yield, fruit quality, and soil, leaf and fruit mineral nutrition in apple. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 31, 515-525.
  7. Arena, E., Fallico, A. & Maccarone, E. (2001). Evalution of antioxidant capacity of blood orange juice as influenced by constituents concentrate. Food Chemistry, 74, 423-427.
  8. Ashoori, M., Lolaei, A., Ershadi, A., Kolhar, M. & Rasoli, A. (2013). Effects of N, Fe and Zn nutrition on vegetative and reproductive growth and fruit quality of grapevine (Vitis viniferea L.). Journal of Ornamental and Horticultural Plants, 3 (1), 49-58.
  9. Ben, J. and Gaweda, M. (1985). Changes of pectic compounds in ‘Jonathan’ apples under various storage conditions. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 7, 45-54.
  10. Brummel, D.A. & Harpster, M.H. (2001). Cell wall metabolism in fruit softening and quality its manipulation in transgenic plants. In: Plant Cell Walls (pp. 311-340): Springer.
  11. Cakmak, I. (2000). Possible roles of zinc in protecting plant cells from damage by reactive oxygen species. The New Phytologist, 146 (2), 185-205.
  12. Crouch, I. (2003). 1-Methylcyclopropene (Smartfresh TM) as an alternative to modified atmosphere and controlled atmosphere storage of apples and pears. Acta Horticulturae, 600: 433-436. 
  13. Davarinejad, G. H., Zaeri, M., Nasrabadi, M. E. & Ardakani, E. (2013). Effects of salicylic acid and putrescine on storability, quality attributes and antioxidant activity of plum cv. Santa Rosa. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 1-100.
  14. Davarpanah, S., Akbari, M., Askari, M.A., Babalar, M. & Naddaf, M.E. (2013). Effect of iron foliar application (Fe-EDDHA) on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of pomegranate CV. "Malas –e-Saveh". World of Sciences Journal, ISSN 2307-3071. 179-187.
  15. Dixi, C. X. & Gamdagin, R. (1978). Effect of foliar application of zinc and iron on chlorsis and yield of ‘Kinnow’. In: Proceeding of Horticultural Science, 10 (1), 13-19.
  16. Echeverrıa, G., Fuentes, T., Graell, J., Lara, I. & López, M. (2004). Aroma volatile compounds of ‘Fuji’ apples in relation to harvest date and cold storage technology: A comparison of two seasons. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 32(1), 29-44.
  17. El-Shewy, A.A. & Adel-Khalek, I. (2014). Physiological studies on the effect of foliar sprays with some micronutrients on leaf mineral content, yield and fruit quality of ‘Florida Prince’ and ‘Desert Red’ peach trees. Trends in Horticultural Research, 4 (1), 20-30.
  18. Erdal, I., Atilla Askin, M., Kucukyumuk, Z., Yildirim, F.  &Yildirim, A. (2008). Rootstock has an important role on iron nutrition of apple trees. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 4(2), 173-177.
  19. Faniadis, D., Drogoudi, P. D. & Vasilakakis, M. (2010). Effects of cultivar, orchard elevation, and storage on fruit quality characters of sweet cherry (Prunus aviumn L.). Scientia Horticulturae, 125(3), 301-304.
  20. Fernandez, A.A., Melgar, J.C., Abadia, J. & Abadia, A. (2011). Effects of moderate and severe iron deficiency chlorosis on fruit yield, appearance and composition in pear (Pyrus communis L.) and peach (Prunus persica(L.) Batsch). Environmental and Experimental Botany, 71(2), 280-286.
  21. Hannafy Ahmed, A.H., Khalil, M.K., Abd El-Rahman, A.M. & Nadia, A.M. (2012). Effect of zinc, tryptophan and indole acetic acid on growth, yield and chemical composition of ‘Valencia’ orange trees. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 8 (2), 901-914.
  22. Hassan, H.S.A., Sarrwy, S.M.A. & Mustafa, E.A.M. (2010). Effect of foliar spraying with liquid organic fertilizer, some micronutrients, and gibberellins on leaf mineral content, fruit set, yield and fruit quality of ‘Hollywood’ plum trees. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America, 1(4), 638-643.
  23. Herrera, A.E. (2001). Fertilization programs for apple orchard. NMSU and the U.S. Department of      Agriculture Coopering, Guide H-319, 1-4.
  24. Hosseini Molla, M., Rezaee, A., Askari Sarcheshmeh, M. A. & Khademi, A. (2015). Effect of foliar application of iron chelate on attributer of quantitative, qualitative and physiological of peach fruit (Prunus persica cv. Alberta), Process Plant Function, 4(14), 124-155. (in Farsi)
  25. Hamouda, H. A. L., El-Dahshouri, M. F., Omaima M. Hafez & Nagwa, G. (2015). Response of ‘Le Conte’ pear performance, chlorophyll content and active iron to foliar application of different iron sources under the newly reclaimed soil conditions. International Journal of ChemTech Research, 8(4), 1446-1453.
  26. Junus, M. A. & Cox, F. R. (1987). A zinc soil test calibration based upon mehlich 3 extractable zinc, pH, and cation exchange capacity. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 51, 678-683.
  27. Kamiloglu, O. (2011). Influence of some cultural practices on yield, fruit quality and individual anthocyanins of table grape cv. Horoz Karasi. The Journal Animal and Plant Sciences, 21 (2), 240-245.
  28. Kazemi, M. (2014). Influence of foliar application of iron, calcium and zinc sulfate on vegetativr growth and reproductive characteristics of strawberry cv. ‘PAJARO’. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 1, 21-26.
  29. Keverset, C., Pincemail, J., Tabart, J., Defraigne, J. O. & Dommes, J. (2011). Influence of cultivar, harvest time, storage conditions and peeling on the antioxidant capacity and phenolic and ascorbic acid contents of apple and pear. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 59 (11), 6165-6171.
  30. Khadivi, A. (2010). Pomology. (2nd ed.). Agricultural Extension and Education Pubilcations. 470p. (in Farsi)
  31. Lemoine, M. L., Civello, P. M., Martınez, G. A. & Chaves, A. R. (2007). Influence of postharvest UV-C treatment on refrigerated storage of minimally processed broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 87, 1132-1139.
  32. Link, S. O., Drake, S. R. & Thiede, M. E. (2007). Prediction of apple firmness from mass loss and shrinkage. Journal of Food Quality, 27 (1), 13-26.
  33. Manafi, H., Babalar, M., Talaei, A. & Askari Sarcheshme, M. A. (2015). The effect of nitrogen nutrition and iron spraied on quantitative and qualitative characteristics and storage life of pear fruit cv Shahmiveh. M.Sc. Thesis. College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran. (in Farsi).
  34. Mohebi, M., Babalar, M., Talaei, A. & Askari Sarcheshme, M. A. (2014). Study of the effect of iron leaf solubility and soil nutrition on ammonium nitrate on yield and post-harvest quality of apple (Fuji Cultivar) in compact Y-shaped culture. M.Sc. Thesis. College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran. (in Farsi).
  35. Mansouri, S., Babalar, M. & Kalantari, S. (2015). Effect of different concentrations of iron and ammonium nitrate on the quality, quantity and shelf life of apple ‘Dalbar Stival’ cultivar. M.Sc. Thesis. College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran. (in Farsi).
  36. Moustafa, A., Elshazly, A. S. A., Eissa, A. M. & Zahran, M. A. (1986). Effect of foliar applications of chelate Fe, Zn and Mn on leaf mineral content, yield and fruit quality of ‘Romani Red’ grape-vines. Annals of Agricultural Sciences, 31, 623-635.
  37. Ough, C. & Amerine, M. (1988). Phenolic Compounds. Methods for Analysis of Musts and Wines, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA.
  38. Pascal, N. & Douce, R. (1993). Effect of iron deficiency on the respiration of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus 1.) cells. Journal of Plant Physiology, 103, 1329-1338.
  39. Pestana, M., Varennes, A. D., Miguel, M. G. & Correia, P. J. (2010). Consequences of iron deficiency on fruit quality in citrus and strawberry. Sapienta Universidade do Algarve, 25, 193-201.
  40. Rasouli-Sadeghiani, M. H., Malakouti, M. J. & Samar, S. M. (2002). The effectiveness of different application methods of zinc sulfate on nutritional conditions of apple in calcareous soil of Iran. 17th World Congress of Soil Science, Thailand, Paper No, 2151.
  41. Razzaq, K., Khan, A. S., Malik, A. U., Shahid, M. & Ullah, S. (2013). Foliar application of zinc influences the leaf mineral ststus, vegetative and reproductive growth, yield and fruit quality of ‘Kinnow’ mandarin. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 36, 1479-1495.
  42. Saadati, S., Moallemi, N., Mortazavi, S. M. H. & Seyyednejad, S. M. (2013). Effects of zinc and boron foliar application on soluble carbohydrate and oil contents of three olive cultivars during fruit ripening. Scientia Horticulturae, 164, 30-34.
  43. Schulte, E. E. (1992). Soil and applied iron. University of Wisconsin-Extension.
  44. Soliemanzadeh, A., Mozafari, V., Tajabadi Pour, A. & Akhgar, A. (2013). Effect of Zn, Cu and Fe foliar application on fruit set and some quality and quantity characteristics of pistachio trees. South Western Journal of Horticulture, Biology and Environment, 4 (1), 19-34
  45. Swietlik, D. (2002). Zinc nutrition of fruit crops. Hort Technology, 12 (1), 45-50.
  46. Yadav, V., Singh, P. N. & Yadav, P. (2013). Effect of foliar fertilization of boron, zinc and iron on fruit growth and yield of low-chili peach cv. Sharbati. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3(8), 1-6.
  47. Zaiter, H. Z., Saad, I. & Nimah, M. (1993). Yield of iron-sprayed strawberry cultivars grown on high pH   calcareous soil. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 16, 281-296.
  48. Zhao, X., Carey, E. E., Young, J. E., Wang, W. & Iwamoto, T. (2007). Influences of organic fertilization, high tunnel environment, and postharvest storage on phenolic compounds in lettuce. HortScience, 42(1), 71-76.