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|Dipika Sarmah, Pradip Mahanta, Madhumita C Talukdar and Ranjan Das|
|A field experiment was conducted for two consecutive years (2010-11 and 2011-12) in the Experimental Farm, Department of Horticulture, Assam Agricultural University to study the effect of different mulching materials on physiological and biochemical changes of gerbera ( Gerbera jamesonii Bolus) cv. Red Gem. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design (RBD) with seven treatments ( viz . black polyethylene, paddy straw, dried leaves, dried banana leaves, water hyacinth, rice husk and control) replicated thrice. The study revealed that black polyethylene mulch recorded highest chlorophyll content of leaf [both at vegetative (1.61 mg/g) and flowering stage (0.54 mg/g)] and leaf area index (3.23 cm 2 ). Same treatment showed highest reducing sugar (0.17 mg g -1 DW), non-reducing sugar (0.052 mg g -1 DW), total sugar (0.22 mg g -1 DW) and nitrate reductase activity (22.49 u mol NO 2 - g -1 FW hr -1 ) in both the years and control showed lowest. Black polyethylene mulch recorded highest self life (17.17 days) and vase life (8.18 days) in both the years. From the results of this experiment it can be concluded that black polyethylene was found to be the best mulching material for gerbera cultivation under Assam condition|
Dipika Sarmah has completed her M.Sc. from Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat on the topic Effect of mulching on growth and flowering of gerbera ( Gerbera jamesonii Bolus) cv. Red Gem. Now she is pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of Floriculture and Landscaping from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, West Bengal. She is presently working on micro propagation of orchid. One of her papers has been accepted for a reputed journal. She has attended and presented papers in both national and international conferences.
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