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Growth Responses and Root Characteristics of Lettuce Grown in Aeroponics, Hydroponics, and Substrate Culture

1
Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2
Shanghai Jieyou Agriculture Sci & Tech Co., Ltd., Shanghai 201210, China
3
Spraying Systems (Shanghai) Co., Shanghai 201611, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040035
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
Aeroponics is a relatively new soilless culture technology which may produce food in space-limited cities or on non-arable land with high water-use efficiency. The shoot and root growth, root characteristics, and mineral content of two lettuce cultivars were measured in aeroponics, and compared with hydroponics and substrate culture. The results showed that aeroponics remarkably improved root growth with a significantly greater root biomass, root/shoot ratio, and greater total root length, root area, and root volume. However, the greater root growth did not lead to greater shoot growth compared with hydroponics, due to the limited availability of nutrients and water. It was concluded that aeroponics systems may be better for high value true root crop production. Further research is necessary to determine the suitable pressure, droplet size, and misting interval in order to improve the continuous availability of nutrients and water in aeroponics, if it is to be used to grow crops such as lettuce for harvesting above-ground parts. View Full-Text
Keywords: soilless culture; root growth; root/shoot ratio soilless culture; root growth; root/shoot ratio
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Li, Q.; Li, X.; Tang, B.; Gu, M. Growth Responses and Root Characteristics of Lettuce Grown in Aeroponics, Hydroponics, and Substrate Culture. Horticulturae 2018, 4, 35.

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