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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural & Extension Education


Strawberry is a well-known source of natural antioxidants with excellent free radical scavenging capacity. This study determined the effects of chitosan application in field condition on plant growth, fruit yield and antioxidant activities in strawberry fruit. Foliar applications of chitosan on strawberry significantly increased plant growth and fruit yield (up to 42% higher) compared to untreated control. Increased fruit yield was attributed to higher plant growth, individual fruit weight and total fruit weight/plant due to the chitosan application. Surprisingly, the fruit from plants sprayed with chitosan also had significantly higher contents (up to 2.6-fold) of carotenoids, anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenolics compared to untreated control. Total antioxidant activities in fruit of chitosan treated plants were also significantly higher (ca. 2-fold) (p< 0.05) than untreated control. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of chitosan applied on field plants providing significant improvement of both yield and health benefiting biochemical contents in strawberry fruit. Further study on the elucidation of mechanisms involved with enhancement of growth, yield and biochemical contents by chitosan is needed to promote sustainable production of strawberry.

Source Citation

Rahman M, Mukta JA, Sabir AA, Gupta DR, Mohi-Ud-Din M, Hasanuzzaman M, et al. (2018) Chitosan biopolymer promotes yield and stimulates accumulation of antioxidants in strawberry fruit. PLoS ONE 13(9): e0203769.


This research was mainly funded by a grant awarded to M. Rahman by USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) program contract Agr number SR-CR-13–002 and support from the West Virginia University research seed grant. A partial funding from the World Bank to this work through HEQEP CP # 2071 to MTI of Department of Biotechnology of BSMRAU, Bangladesh is also appreciated. The J. William Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship from U.S. Government to MTI is also highly acknowledged. We also thank Mr. Abdul Wahed Mallik, Senior Farm Manager, Head and Staffs of Department of Agroforestry and Environment of BSMRAU for excellent support for field experiments.

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.



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