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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352534

Research Project: Enhancement of Hard Spring Wheat, Durum, and Oat Quality

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Evaluation of Lettuce Cultivars for Hydroponic Culture

item KO, TAE SEOK - North Dakota State University
item MCCOLLUM, CASEY - North Dakota State University
item Ohm, Jae-Bom
item LEE, CHIWON - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2018
Publication Date: 7/28/2018
Citation: Ko, T., Mccollum, C., Ohm, J., Lee, C. 2018. Evaluation of Lettuce Cultivars for Hydroponic Culture. Meeting Abstract. p.111-112.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is one of the major leafy and salad vegetables. A total of sixty-four lettuce cultivars with green or red leaves in 5 different types (butterhead, crisphead, loose leaf, oakleaf, and romaine) were evaluated for hydroponic culture using the NFT (nutrient film technique) system. Two-week old rockwool-grown seedlings were anchored 6” apart on an NFT system and grown for additional 4 weeks with a nutrient solution containing 200 ppm N prepared with a 20-20-20 commercial fertilizer. The lettuce crops reached marketable size within 3-4 weeks of transplanting into the hydroponic system. Performance factors evaluated for each cultivar 4 weeks after transplanting included fresh and dry weights, plant size and shape, stem diameter and length, leaf tissue pH, nitrate (NO3-), calcium (Ca2+), and sugar contents, and tendency for bolting, molding and leaf tip burns. The cultivars of Adriana, Four Seasons, and Red Cross in butterhead type, Simpson Elite, Green Star, Tropicana, Two Star, Red Sails, and New Red Fire in loose leaf type, 3Sx4203 in oak leaf type, Concept, Magenta, Mure, Nevada, Lettony, and Cherokee in crisphead type, Parris Island, Green Forest, Jericho, Giant Caesar, Parris White, and Outredgeous in romaine type performed well for hydroponic culture on NFT system. Four cultivars (Tango, 3Sx4102, Burpee Bibb, Arctic Crisp) were sensitive to bolting and five cultivars (Tennis Ball, Emerald Oak, 3Sx4403, 3Sx497, 3Sx3410) were identified as developing undesirable leaf tip burns. Evaluation of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls, carotenoids, anthocyanin), chlorophyll indices (SPAD) and photosynthetic reflectance index (PRI) associated with lettuce leaf color and type revealed that SPAD values were better indicators of leaf chlorophyll and carotenoid status and PRI values were better indicators of anthocyanin status with a more reliable differentiation between levels. Anthocyanin levels correlated negatively with PRI values. Chlorophyll and carotenoid levels in leaf tissues correlated either positively or negatively, respectively, with SPAD values. The relationship between PRI, SPAD and PSII photochemistry among different lettuce cultivars associated with their leaf color and lettuce type was characterized. Lettuce cultivars greatly varied in their performance under the NFT hydroponic culture system. Information obtained in study may well be used by greenhouse growers in selecting lettuce cultivars suited for their production practices.