My PhD project aims to asses the influence of pre-harvest foliar applications of different biostimulant products (such as humic substances, protein hydrolysates, chitosan, inorganic compounds, seaweed extracts, amino acids) on fruit crops performances (strawberry plant and apple tree) during the vegetative-reproductive cycle and after the storage period.
The focus of this experiment is to evaluate biostimulants’ effects on changes in secondary metabolism in plant with particular reference to phenolic compounds (e.g. flavonoids). These compounds play a central role in fruit quality for example in fruit colour. They are also involved in plant defense mechanisms, acting as defense compounds against several biotic stresses. These aspects related to phenolic compounds will be evaluated trying in particular to clarify the potential role of flavonoid modulation pattern in plant response towards pathogen such as powdery mildew.