Excessive nitrogen can be detrimental to transplant quality when supplied during the period of suboptimal photoperiod conditions. This investigation was made to determine the relationship between nitrogen and photoperiod on the growth rate of the transplants. The growth analysis included the determination of the net assimilation rate (NAR) and the nitrogen productivity (NP). `Camone' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedlings were grown in the greenhouse under two photoperiods 8 and 12 h) at a constant light intensity and fertilized with three different N concentrations (8, 15, and 30 mmol·liter–1) applied four times. Longer photoperiods enhanced plant growth by increasing the internode, LAR, SLA, and SWR. Root fresh weight, dry weight, stem dry matter, NAR, and RWR were minimal when 30 mmol·liter–1 N concentration was supplied, while LAR and SLA were at their maximum level. The interaction between N and photoperiod was significant. Increasing N supply during an 8-h photoperiod decreased growth. During a 12-h photoperiod, 15 mmol·liter–1 was the optimum N concentration for fresh growth and 8 mmol·liter–1 for shoot dry growth. The RGR had the lowest value, with 30 mmol·liter–1 N and 8-h photoperiod. PNC was highest when plants received 30 mmol·liter–1 N during an 8-h photoperiod, and when the plants received 15 and 30 mmol·liter–1 N during the 8-h photoperiod. LNC doubled in plants fertilized with 30 mmol·liter–1 N compared to those with 8 mmol·liter–1 when grown under a 12-h photoperiod. The NP was at the maximum in plants fertilized with 8 mmol·liter–1 N at the 12-h photoperiod. The lowest NP values occurred when plants were fertilized with 30 mmol·liter–1 N. When photoperiod is a limiting factor in growing seedlings, N supply must be limited to optimize the efficiency of its utilization by the plant.
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