Author: ALMA DELIA HERNÁNDEZ FUENTES
"The encapsulation of copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs) in chitosan hydrogels could improve the yield and quality of fruit of horticultural crops due to the physicochemical properties of the NPs. The objective of this research was to evaluate different concentrations of Cu NPs in Chitosan-polyvinyl alcohol (Cs-PVA) hydrogels and their effects on the growth, productivity and fruit quality in tomato. The treatments were applied to the substrate as follows: 0.02, 0.2, 2 and 10 mg of Cu NPs in Cs-PVA hydrogel, Cs-PVA hydrogel alone and a control. The Cu NPs had significant effects on growth, productivity and fruit quality. They increased the numbers of leaves and clusters, fresh biomass of roots, and dry biomass of stem-leaves and roots of the plants. They also increased the soluble solid content, titratable acidity, lycopene content and total antioxidant capacity in the fruits. The concentration with the best effect on the growth and yield of tomato plants was 10 mg Cu NPs, which increased the stem diameter, dry biomass of stem-leaves (13%) and roots (30%) and the yield (17%), whereas the concentration of 0.02 mg Cu NPs increased the lycopene content (37%) and the total antioxidant capacity of the fruit (10%). The Cu NPs in Cs-PVA hydrogels helped to increase the yield and nutraceutical properties of the tomato fruits."