Inorganic fertilization improves Agave potatorum Zucc growth and nutrition

Saúl Sánchez-Mendoza, Gabriel Bautista-Aparicio, Angélica Bautista-Cruz


Agave potatorum Zucc is a wild agave used for mezcal (a traditional alcoholic beverage) production in Oaxaca, Mexico, but little information is available on its response to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization. The effect of different N (0, 23.7, 47.5, and 71.2 mg N per kg soil) and P (0, 14.1, 28.3, and 42.5 mg P per kg soil) doses on A. potatorum growth, nutrition and total soluble solid in stem (TSS) was assessed using a two-factor completely randomized design under nursery conditions. Relative to the control, the highest increase in response variables was unfolded leaf number (UL) 37.3%, leaf relative chlorophyll (LRCC) 9.6% and leaf nitrate content (LNO) 42.7% with 71.2 mg N per kg soil; plant height (PH) 39.1%, stem diameter (SD) 17.2%, and leaf dry weight (LDW) 70.2% with 47.5 mg N per kg soil; leaf P content (LP) 78.2% with 23.7 mg N per kg soil; root density (RD) 28.5% and LRCC 5.5% with 28.3 mg P per kg soil; LP 34.7%, LNO 16.8% with 14.1 mg P per kg soil; and TSS 19.0% with 42.5 mg P per kg soil. The combined application of N and P also enhanced stem dry weight, root dry weight, root length, SD, LDW, PH, UL, LP, TSS, LNO and LCRR. The application of N and P favors growth, nutrition and TSS in A. potatorum; therefore, it could be an important alternative for agronomic management of this agave species under nursery conditions. Further research is recommended to assess the response of A. potatorum to N and P fertilization under field conditions.


Agave, nitrogen fertilization, phosphorus fertilization, plant growth, plant nutrition.

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