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Effect of NPK Fertilization on the Growth, Yield, Quality and Mineral Nutrition of New Sweet Plant in Morocco (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni)
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Volume 6, 2018
Issue 3 (September)
Pages: 36-43   |   Vol. 6, No. 3, September 2018   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 83   Since Jul. 25, 2018 Views: 677   Since Jul. 25, 2018
Abderrahmane Benhmimou, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco; Regional Center of Agricultural Research, National Institute of Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco.
Mohammed Ibriz, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco.
Ahmed Douaik, Regional Center of Agricultural Research, National Institute of Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco.
Mounira Lage, Regional Center of Agricultural Research, National Institute of Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco.
Chaouki Al Faïz, Regional Center of Agricultural Research, National Institute of Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco.
Soukaina Chaouqi, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco.
Abdelmjid Zouahri, Regional Center of Agricultural Research, National Institute of Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) is an herbaceous perennial plant of the Asteraceae family, originating from the Amambay region in the north-east of Paraguay, where it grows wild in sandy soils. Dry leaves are the economic part of the stevia plant, with a high concentration of steviol glycosides, which are many times sweeter than sugarcane and sugarbeet but importantly without any calories. Fertilizer requirement for stevia is moderate and varies according to the environment and soil type. Due to the short time of stevia introduction as a new crop in Morocco, there is no information available on nutrient requirement. The aim of the present work is to determine the optimum nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) levels for higher dry leaf yield and steviol glycosides content and their accumulation in stevia in north-western Moroccan conditions. The experiment consisted of 27 fertilization treatments combinations of N (100, 200, and 300 kg ha-1), P (50, 100, and 150 kg ha-1), and K (80, 160, and 240 kg ha-1) and a control treatment, each in three replicates. The results indicated that significantly higher fresh biomass yield, fresh and dry leaf yield, and total steviol glycosides yield were obtained with T24 treatment (300N, 100P, 240K) (96.53, 69.87, 19.56, and 2.13 g plant-1, respectively). Also, T24 led to higher N content (1.81%) than the control (0.40%). However, higher P and K contents were obtained with T25 (300N, 150P, 80K) and T3 (100N, 50P, 240K) treatments, respectively. The growth parameters viz., plant height and stem diameter were significantly higher with T16 treatment (200N, 150P, 80K) while, the stevioside and total steviol glycoside contents were higher in T6 (100N, 100P, 240K) stevia leaves. The T24 could be considered as an economically optimum level of nutrients for stevia.
Stevia, Steviol Glycosides, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Dry Leaf, Yield
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