Document Type : Research paper


Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Research Centre, Horticultural Science Research Institute, Agricultural Research and Education Organization (AREO), Ramsar 46915, Iran.


Kiwifruit requires a high quantity of nutrients that must be supplied through fertilization to obtain an optimum yield on a sustainable basis. This research was conducted to evaluate different fertilization methods including broadcast application (as control), deep placement of the fertilizer and fertigation, alone or in combination with foliar application and their effects on the yield, leaf mineral contents, and some quality properties of kiwifruit (A. deliciosa cv. Hayward). Results showed that fertilization methods had a significant effect on yield and the highest level of yield (76 Kg tree-1) was obtained in the combination of fertigation with foliar spray. In addition, foliar application significantly increased leaf mineral contents of kiwifruit in all treatments. Furthermore, the fertilization method had significant effects on phenol, ascorbic acid contents, and antioxidant capacity of fruits. The highest levels of antioxidant (70.9%), phenol (103.6 mg 100g-1), and ascorbic acid (54.2 mg 100 g-1) in fruits were recorded in ‘soil application’ method. Total soluble carbohydrate and starch contents of the fruits were reduced following foliar nutrition in all treatments. However, foliar nutrition significantly increased fruit crude protein. In conclusion, based on obtained results, fertilization method directly influenced the yield and leaf mineral status and indirectly influenced the fruit chemical composition of Hayward kiwifruit. In fact, the supplemental foliar application reduced some fruit quality attributes (lower antioxidant activity and carbohydrate content) but enhanced the yield of kiwifruit.


  1. Ainsworth E.A, Gillespie K.M. 2007. Estimation of total phenolic content and other oxidation substrates in plant tissues using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Nature Protocols2, 875-7.
  2. Aminifard M, Bayat H. 2016. Effect of vermicompost on fruit yield and quality of bell pepper. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology 3, 221-229.
  3. Amiri M.E, Fallahi E, Golchin A.2008. Influence of foliar and ground fertilization on yield, fruit quality, and soil, leaf, and fruit mineral nutrients in apple. Journal of Plant Nutrition 31, 515-525
  4. Amodio M.L, Colelli G, Hasey J.K, Kader A.A.2007. A comparative study of composition and postharvest performance of organically and conventionally grown kiwifruits. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87, 1228-1236.
  5. Boland M.2013. Kiwifruit Proteins and Enzymes: Actinidin and other significant proteins. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research68, 59-80.
  6. Brand-williams W, Cuvelier M.E, Berset C.1995. Use of a free-radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. LWT- Food Science and Technology28, 25-30.
  7. Boukouvalas S, Chouliaras V.2005. Factors affecting storage life in kiwi fruit. Agro Thesis 3, 26-32.
  8. Cheng L, Ma F, Ranwala D. 2004. Nitrogen storage and its interaction with carbohydrates of young apple trees in response to nitrogen supply. Tree Physiology 24, 91-98.
  9. Coutinho J, Veloso A.1997. Plant analysis as a guide of the nutritional status of kiwifruit orchards in Portugal. Communication in Soil Science and Plant Analysis28, 1011-1019.

10. Dong S, Neilsen D, Neilsen G.H, Fuchigami L.H.2005. Foliar N application reduces soil NO3-N leaching loss in apple orchards. Plant Soil 268, 357-366.

11. DuBois M, Gilles K, Hamilton J, Rebers P, Smith F.1956. Colorimetry of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic-phosphotungstic Acid Reagents. Analytical Chemistry 28, 350-356.

12. Ejraei A, Mohammadi Ghehsareh A, Hodaji M, Besalatpor A. 2018. Determine a regression model between phosphorus of soil saturation extract and various organs of Washington navel orange for recommendation of phosphorus fertilizer. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology 5, 175-184.

13. FAO. 2017. FAOSTAT, production, Available from: http://

14. Faust M.1989. Physiology of temperate zone fruit trees. Wiley Inter-science, New York, 338p.

15. Fourie P.C, Hansmann C.F. 1992. Fruit composition of four South African- grown kiwifruit cultivars. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 20, 449-452,

16. Greer D.H, Cirillo C, Norling C.L. 2003. Temperature-dependence of carbon acquisition and demand in relation to shoot and fruit growth for fruiting kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) vines grown in controlled environments. Functional Plant Biology 30, 927-937.

17. Hunter D.C, Greenwood J, Zhang J, Skinner M.A.2011. Antioxidant and 'natural protective' properties of kiwifruit. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry11, 1811-20

18. Ibrahim M.H, Jaafar Z.E. 2011. Involvement of Carbohydrate, Protein and Phenylanine Ammonia Lyase in Up-Regulation of Secondary Metabolites in Labisia pumila under Various CO2 and N2 Levels. Molecules 16, 4172-4190.

19. Kalra Y.P.1998. Handbook of reference methods for plant analysis. CRC, London, UK.

20. Lintas C, Adorisio S, Cappelloni M, Monastra E.1991. Composition and nutritional evaluation of kiwifruit grown in Italy. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 19, 341-344

21. Marsh K.B, Stowell B.M.1993. Effect of fertigation and hydrogen cyanamide on fruit production, nutrient uptake, and fruit quality in kiwifruit. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science21, 247-252.

22. McCready R.M, Guggolz J, Silviera V, Owens H.S.1950. Determination of starch and amylose in vegetables. Analytical Chemistry 22, 1156-1158.

23. Mills T, Boldingh H, Blattmann P, Green S, Meekings J.2008. Nitrogen application rate and the concentration of other macronutrients in the fruit and leaves of gold kiwifruit. Journal of Plant Nutrition 31, 1656-1675.

24. Mills T, Boldingh H, Blattmann P, Green S, Meekings J.2009. Nitrogen application rate and the change in carbohydrate concentration in leaves, fruit, and canes of gold kiwifruit. Journal of Plant Nutrition 32, 2140-2157.

25. Morandi B, Manfrini L, Losciale P, Zibordi M, Corelli-Grappadelli L.2010. Changes in vascular and transpiration flows affect the seasonal and daily growth of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) berry. Annals of Botany105, 913-923.

26. Morton A.R.2013. Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) vine and fruit responses to nitrogen fertilizer applied to the soil or leaves. Ph.D. thesis, Massey University, Palmerston north, New Zealand.

27. Murphy J, Riley J.P.1962. A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters. Analytica Chimica Acta 27, 31-36.

28. Nielsen S.S. 2010. Vitamin C determination by indophenol method. In: Food Analysis Laboratory Manual, Food Science Texts Series, Springer, 55-60.

29. Otero V, Barreal M.E, Merino A, Gallego P.P.2007. Calcium Fertilization in a Kiwifruit Orchard. Acta Horticulturae 753, 515-520.

30. Pacheco C, Calouro F, Vieira S, Santos F, Neves N, Curado F, Franco J, Rodrigues S, Antunes D. 2008. Influence of nitrogen and potassium on yield, fruit quality and mineral composition of kiwifruit. International Journal of Energy and Environment 1, 9-15.

31. Parent S, Barlow Ph, Parent L.E.2015. Nutrient balances of New Zealand kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa cv. Hayward) at high yield level. Communication in Soil Science and Plant Analysis46, 256-271

32. Peticilaa A, Scaeteanub G.V, Madjarb R, Stanicaa F, Asanicaa A.2015. Fertilization effect on mineral nutrition of Actinidia Deliciosa (kiwi) cultivated on different substrates. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia 6, 132-138.

33. Quinones A, Bañuls J, Primo-Millo E, Legaz F.2003. Effects of 15N application frequency on nitrogen uptake efficiency in Citrus trees. Journal of Plant Physiology 160, 1429-1434.

34. Richardson D.P, Ansell J, Drummond L.N.2018. The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review. European Journal of Nutrition 57, 2659-2676

35. Santoni F, Paolini J, Barboni T, Cost J.2014. Relationships between the leaf and fruit mineral compositions of Actinidia deliciosa var. Hayward according to nitrogen and potassium fertilization. Food Chemistry 147, 269-271.

36. Santoni F, Barboni T, Paolini J, Costa J.2013. Influence of cultivating parameters on the composition of volatile compounds and physicochemical characteristics of kiwi fruit. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 93, 604-610.

37. Selman J.D.1983. The vitamin C content of some kiwifruits (Actinidia chinensis planch, variety hayward). Food Chemistry 11, 63-75.

38. Smith G.S, Clark C.J, Henderson H.V.1987a. Seasonal accumulation of mineral nutrients by kiwifruit. I. Leaves. New Phytologist 106, 81-100.


39. Smith G.S, Asher C.J, Clark C.J. 1987b. Kiuifruit Nutrition: Diagnosis of Nutritional Disorders. Wellington.

40. Taylor B.K, Ende B, Canterford R.L. 1975. Effects of rate and timing of nitrogen applications on the performance and chemical composition of young pear trees. Horticultural Science 50, 29-40.

41. Tarakcioglu C, Askin T, Cangi R, Duran C.2006. Nutritional status in some kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) orchards: A case survey from Karadeniz region in Turkey. Journal of Plant Sciences 2, 187-194.

42. Velemis D, Karagiannidis N, Manolakis E, Paroussis E, Simonis A. 1995. Determination of desirable nutrient leaf levels for kiwifruit in Greece. Acta Horticulturae 383, 385-392.

43. Warrington I.J, Weston G.C. 1990. Kiwifruit: Science and Management (Auckland, NZ: N. Z. Soc. Hortic. Sci. and Ray Richards Publ.).

44. Winger A, Purdy S, Maclean A, Pourtau N.2006. The role of sugars in integrating environmental signals during the regulation of leaf senescence. New Phytologist 161, 781-789.

45. Xia G, Cheng L.2004. Foliar urea application in the fall affects both nitrogen and carbon storage in young `Concord' grapevines grown under a wide range of nitrogen supply.  Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 129, 653-659.