The Effect of Organic and Biological Fertilizers Application on Biomass Yield and Poly-phenols Contents of Dwarf Chicory Leaves (Cichorium pumilum Jacq.)

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Research Institute for Food Science, Mashhad, Iran


Dwarf chicory (Cichorium pumilum Jacq.) is an annual species from chicory genus in Asteraceae family grows in Western and Southern parts of Iran which is used as a traditional medicinal herb. To date there are a few studies on this species which have been carried out under field conditions. Dwarf Chicory can be used for cancer treatment. In many studies, the presence of phenolic and terpene lactones has been confirmed in chicory tissue. Each type of fertilizer (chemical, organic and biofertilizer) has its advantages and disadvantages but due to the problems caused by the use of chemical fertilizers, organic and biological fertilizers can be used as alternatives to chemical fertilizers to increase soil fertility and produce sustainable agriculture. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of organic and chemical fertilizers and biological fertilizers on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of dwarf chicory (Cichorium pumilum Jacq.) in different cuttings.
Materials and Methods
The experiment was carried out in a factorial layout based on randomized complete block design with four replications at the Agricultural Research Station of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (59°28 E and 36°15 N ) during 2011-2012 growing season. Plots were designed with 4 m long and 2.5 m width, 1 m apart each other. Between blocks, 1 m alley was kept. The experimental treatments were all combination of organic and chemical fertilizers (Urban compost 4 t. ha-1, vermin-compost 4 t. ha-1, urea fertilizer 130 kg. ha-1 and control) and biological fertilizer (Biosulfur biofertilizer + pure sulfur 100 kg. ha-1 and control). Seed sowing was performed by hand on the middle of the furrows. Seedlings were thinned at the four-six leaf stage. The irrigation was done after seed sowing two times per week until plant establishment and then with weekly irrigation until maturity stage. Weeds were removed by hand during growing seasons. Harvesting was performed before stem initiation at the first cut and flower initiation at the second cut and then biological yields were measured by harvesting 2.25 m2 of the central part of each plot. Folin-Ciocalteu method of assay was used to measure leaf polyphenols. Comparison of means were performed by Duncan’s multiple range test (DMRT) at 5% and 1% probability level by using SAS and MSTAT-C statistical software.
Results and Discussion
The results showed that organic and chemical fertilizers and its interactions had significant effect on fresh and dry weight of biomass in the first and the second cuts and total accumulated biomass. The highest fresh weight of biomass at both cuts and total accumulated biomass were observed in chemical fertilizer + biosulfur biofertilizer treatment. It seems that readily and immediately available of nitrogen and sulfur elements in chemical fertilizer + biosulfur biofertilizer treatment increased the biomass yield of the plant. Compost treatment produced the highest dry weight of biomass in both cuts and total accumulated biomass. Results indicated that studied factors and their interactions had significant effect on poly-phenols contents of dwarf chicory leaves in both cuts. The highest and the lowest poly-phenols contents of dwarf chicory leaves in both cuts were observed in vermi-compost and chemical fertilizer+ biosulfur biofertilizer treatments, respectively. It seems that the slow growth and low shading of the leaves were the main reason to increase polyphenols and the absence of nitrogen deficiency and low soil pH cause reduced the concentration of polyphenols.

According to the results obtained in this research, it can be concluded that the compost treatment had a positive effect on vegetative yield and poly-phenols contents of dwarf chicory leaves and its use can be an effective step towards achieving sustainable agriculture and replacing the use of chemical fertilizers. Our results revealed that total poly-phenols contents declined by increasing nitrogen and decreasing pH.


Abdelaziz, M.E., Pokluda, R., and Abdelwahab, M.M. 2007. Influence of compost, microorganisms and NPK fertilizer upon growth, chemical composition and essential oil production of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca 35(1): 86-90.
Aggelides, S., and Londra, P. 2000. Effects of compost produced from town wastes and sewage sludge on the physical properties of a loamy and a clay soil. Bioresource Technology 71(3): 253-259.
Aghhavani Shajari, M. 2012. Effects of single and combined application of nutrients on quantitative and qualitative indices of Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.). MSc thesis, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian with English Summary)
Ahmed, N. 2009. Alloxan diabetes-induced oxidative stress and impairment of oxidative defense system in rat brain: neuroprotective effects of Cichorium intybus. International Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism 17: 105-109.
Al-Akhras, M., Aljarrah, K., Al-Khateeb, H., Jaradat, A., Al-Omari, A., Al-Nasser, A., Masadeh, M., Amin, A., Hamza, A., and Mohammed, K. 2012. Introducing Cichorium pumilum as a potential therapeutical agent against drug-induced benign breast tumor in rats. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 31(4): 299-309.
Azizi, M., Rezwanee, F., Hassanzadeh Khayat, M., Lackzian, A., and Neamati, H. 2008. The effect of different levels of vermicompost and irrigation on morphological properties and essential oil content of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) C.V. Goral. Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants 24(1): 82-93. (In Persian with English Summary)
Balandari, A. 2011. Study some echophysiological characteristics and investigation on cultivation aspects of dwarf chicory (Chicorium pomilum Jacq.) in Mashhad. PhD dissertation, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian with English Summary)
Bayer, R.J., and Starr, J.R. 1998. Tribal phylogeny of the Asteraceae based on two non-coding chloroplast sequences, the trnL intron and trnL/trnF intergenic spacer. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 58: 242-256.
Brown, P., Graham, R.D., and Nicholas, D. 1984. The effects of managanese and nitrate supply on the levels of phenolics and lignin in young wheat plants. Plant and Soil 81(3): 437-440.
Chen, J. 2006. The combined use of chemical and organic fertilizers and/or biofertilizer for crop growth and soil fertility. International Workshop on Sustained Management of the Soil-rhizosphere System for Efficient Crop Production and Fertilizer Use.
Chen, Y.P., Rekha, P.D., Arun, A.B., Shen, F.T., Lai, W.A., and Young, C.C. 2006. Phosphate solubilizing bacteria from subtropical soil and their tricalcium phosphate solubilizing abilities. Applied Soil Ecology 34: 33-41.
Dadvndsrab, M.R., Naqdibadi, H.A., Nasri, M., Makizadeh Tafti, M., and Omidi, H. 2008. Changes the essential oil and yield the medicinal plant basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) under effect density and nitrogen. Journal of Medicinal Plants 7(27): 60-70. (In Persian with English Summary)
Friedman, M., and Jürgens, H.S. 2000. Effect of pH on the stability of plant phenolic compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48(6): 2101-2110.
Gharib, F.A., Moussa, L.A., and Massoud, O.N. 2008. Effect of compost and bio-fertilizers on growth, yield and essential oil of sweet marjoram (Majorana hortensis) plant. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 10(4): 381-387.
Gliessman, S.R. 1990. Agroecology: Researching the Ecological Basis for Sustainable Agriculture. Springer p. 380.
Guo, S., Shen, Q., and Brueck, H. 2007. Effects of local nitrogen supply on water uptake of bean plants in a split root system. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 49(4): 472-480.
Khaghani, S., Shakouri, M.J., Mafakheri, S., and Aslanpour, M. 2012. Effect of different chemical fertilizers on chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). Indian Journal of Science and Technology 5(1): 1835-1933.
Khalid, K., Hendawy, S., and El-Gezawy, E. 2006. Ocimum basilicum L. production under organic farming. Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences 2(1): 25-32.
Kisiel, W., and Michalska, K. 2003. root constituents of cichorium pumilum and re-arrangements of some lactucin-like guaianolides. Zeitschrift Fur Naturforschung C 58(11/12): 789-792.
Koocheki, A.R., Tabrizi, L., and Ghorbani, R. 2008. Effect of biofertilizers on agronomic and quality criteria of Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis). Iranian Journal of Agricultural Research 6(1): 127-137. (In Persian with English Summary)
Makris, D.P., Kallithraka, S., and Kefalas, P. 2006. Flavonols in grapes, grape products and wines: Burden, profile and influential parameters. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 19(5): 396-404.
Malekoti, M.J., Baba Akbari, M., and Snzamy, S. 2009. Effect of different sources of nitrogen based fertilizers containing nitrogen recycling performance and efficiency of wheat. Journal of Science and Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources (49): 129-138. (In Persian with English Summary)
Mitchell, M. 2001. On-site composting of restaurant organic waste: Economic, ecological, and social costs and benefits. Senior Research Seminar, Environmental Sciences Group Major, UC-Berkeley. Retrieved January.
Mohammadabadi, A.A., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., Fallahi, J., and Rezazadeh, Z. 2011. Effect of organic and chemical fertilizers on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of forage fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) Journal of Agroecology 3(2): 249-257. (In Persian with English Summary)
Moradi, R., Nassiri Mahallati, M., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., Lakzian, A., and NejadAli, A. 2011. Effect of biological and organic fertilizers on quality and quantity of essential oil of anise (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.). Journal of Horticultural Science 25(1): 25-33. (In Persian with English Summary)
Navarro, A.E., Portales, R.F., Sun-Kou, M.R., and Llanos, B.P. 2008. Effect of pH on phenol biosorption by marine seaweeds. Journal of Hazardous Materials 156(1): 405-411.
Palomino, O., Gomez-Serranillos, M., Slowing, K., Carretero, E., and Villar, A. 2000. Study of polyphenols in grape berries by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A 870(1): 449-451.
Pant, A.P., Radovich, T.J., Hue, N.V., Talcott, S.T., and Krenek, K.A. 2009. Vermicompost extracts influence growth, mineral nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidant activity in pak choi (Brassica rapa cv. Bonsai, Chinensis group) grown under vermicompost and chemical fertiliser. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 89(14): 2383-2392.
Patel, J., Patel, J., Upadhyay, P., and Usadadia, V. 2002. The effect of various agronomic practices on the yield of chicory (Cichorium intybus). The Journal of Agricultural Science 135(3): 271-278.
Rodrı́guez, H., and Fraga, R. 1999. Phosphate solubilizing bacteria and their role in plant growth promotion. Biotechnology Advances 17(4): 319-339.
Sugatani, J., Yamakawa, K., Tonda, E., Nishitani, S., Yoshinari, K., Degawa, M., Abe, I., Noguchi, H., and Miwa, M. 2004. The induction of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 mediated through a distal enhancer module by flavonoids and xenobiotics. Biochemical Pharmacology 67(5): 989-1000.
Taiz, L., and Zeiger, E. 2006. Plant Physiology. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunder land, Massachuseetts. P. 690.
Tate, R.L. 1995. The sulfur and related biogeochemical cycles. In: Microbiology. John Willey and Soils. New York. 355-379.
Valdrighi, M.M., Pera, A., Agnolucci, M., Frassinetti, S., Lunardi, D., and Vallini, G. 1996. Effects of compost-derived humic acids on vegetable biomass production and microbial growth within a plant )Cichorium intybus)-soil system: a comparative study. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 58(2): 133-144.
Wojdylo, A., Oszmianski, J., and Czemerys, R. 2007. Antioxidant activity and phenolic compound in 32 selected herbs. Food Chemistry (1005): 940-949.
Wu, S., Cao, Z., Li, Z., Cheung, K., and Wong, M. 2005. Effects of biofertilizer containing N-fixer, P and K solubilizers and AM fungi on maize growth: a greenhouse trial. Geoderma 125(1): 155-166.
Zhao, X., Iwamoto, T., and Carey, E.E. 2007. Antioxidant capacity of leafy vegetables as affected by high tunnel environment, fertilisation and growth stage. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87(14): 2692-2699.