Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Vegetable Production Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2024 | Viewed by 8210

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad de Talca, Talca 3460000, Chile
Interests: hydroponics; indoor production technologies; production system in the protected environment; types of hydroponics, substrates, containers, pot colors, and bench colors in the protected environment

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Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Universidad de Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
Interests: soilless culture systems; lighting; plant nutrition; vertical farming

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Guest Editor
Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Ege University, Bornova, 35040 Izmir, Turkey
Interests: soilless culture systems; abiotic stress; vegetables; nutrition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water scarcity, the increasing population, urbanization and food security problems make soilless vegetable production a real crop solution, especially in areas where soil is not available and/or an alternative. Therefore, this Special Issue aims to present recent advances in the development of soilless crop research and its impact on vegetable production worldwide. It is necessary to have frontier science and technology for the cultivation of vegetables in hydroponics and substrates, safeguarding the rigor necessary for productive success with maximum efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Kind regards,

Dr. Gilda Carrasco Silva
Dr. Miguel Urrestarazu
Prof. Dr. Yuksel Tuzel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • growing media
  • nutrient solution
  • vegetables
  • plant nutrition
  • hydroponics
  • NFT
  • floating system
  • aeroponics
  • vertical farming

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2035 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Ozone Application in the Nutrient Solution and the Yield and Oxidative Stress of Hydroponic Baby Red Chard
by Alejandra Machuca Vargas, Ana Cecilia Silveira Gómez, Cristian Hernández-Adasme and Víctor Hugo Escalona Contreras
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111234 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Novel ozone (O3) sanitizing treatments can be used to decrease the microbial load during cultivation, but they would affect the composition of the nutrient solution. Variations in the nutrient composition decrease crop yields, especially if a strong oxidizing agent such as [...] Read more.
Novel ozone (O3) sanitizing treatments can be used to decrease the microbial load during cultivation, but they would affect the composition of the nutrient solution. Variations in the nutrient composition decrease crop yields, especially if a strong oxidizing agent such as ozone is used. In this study, O3 was applied throughout the culture every two days at doses of 0.0 (control); 0.5; 1.0; and 2.0 mg·L−1 for 3 min on baby red chard (Beta vulgaris L. cv. SCR 107) grown in a floating hydroponic system. Macronutrients and micronutrients in the nutrient solution, yield, antioxidant compounds, and oxidative stress enzymes were evaluated in plants. Macronutrients in the nutrient solution were not affected by O3, whereas micronutrients, such as Fe and Mn, decreased by 88.2 and 39.6%, respectively, at the 0.5 mg·L−1 dose. The dose of 0.5 mg·L−1 produced more fresh matter and leaf area than the control. Antioxidant capacity and total phenols were not significantly affected by O3 treatments; however, higher SOD, CAT, and APX activity after O3 applications were found. It is concluded that ozone applications to the nutrient solution affect the availability of some micronutrients and increase oxidative stress and yield in baby red chard plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production)
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20 pages, 4336 KiB  
Article
Automating Seedling Counts in Horticulture Using Computer Vision and AI
by Fernando Fuentes-Peñailillo, Gilda Carrasco Silva, Ricardo Pérez Guzmán, Ignacio Burgos and Felipe Ewertz
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101134 - 14 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1995
Abstract
The accelerated growth of computer vision techniques (CVT) has allowed their application in various disciplines, including horticulture, facilitating the work of producers, reducing costs, and improving quality of life. These techniques have made it possible to contribute to the automation of agro-industrial processes, [...] Read more.
The accelerated growth of computer vision techniques (CVT) has allowed their application in various disciplines, including horticulture, facilitating the work of producers, reducing costs, and improving quality of life. These techniques have made it possible to contribute to the automation of agro-industrial processes, avoiding excessive visual fatigue when undertaking repetitive tasks, such as monitoring and selecting seedlings grown in trays. In this study, an object detection model and a mobile application were developed that allowed seedlings to be counted from images and the calculation of the number of seedlings per tray. This system was developed under a CRISP-DM methodology to improve the capture of information, data processing, and the training of object detection models using data from six crops and four types of trays. Subsequently, an experimental test was carried out to verify the integration of both parts as a unified system, reaching an efficiency between 57% and 96% in the counting process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production)
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20 pages, 1816 KiB  
Article
Changes in Agronomic, Antioxidant Compounds, and Morphology Parameters of Green and Red Lettuces (Lactuca sativa L.) by Successive Harvests and UV-B Supplementation
by Mónica Flores, Asunción Amorós and Víctor Hugo Escalona
Horticulturae 2023, 9(6), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9060677 - 08 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
The growing demand for lettuce has prompted the need for higher quality standards. Consequently, researchers have focused their efforts on identifying cultural management strategies that can enhance the synthesis of antioxidant compounds, leading to improved functional properties of lettuce. In this regard, two [...] Read more.
The growing demand for lettuce has prompted the need for higher quality standards. Consequently, researchers have focused their efforts on identifying cultural management strategies that can enhance the synthesis of antioxidant compounds, leading to improved functional properties of lettuce. In this regard, two experiments were conducted on hydroponically grown Lollo Bionda ‘Levistro’ and Lollo Rosso ‘Carmoli’ lettuces, known, respectively, for their green and red crispy leaves. The first experiment assessed the effects of harvest time and cutting on fresh weight (FW), dry weight (DW), total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), total anthocyanin content (TAC), and antioxidant capacity (AC). The second experiment evaluated the response of FW, DW, TPC, TFC, TAC, AC, proline content, and morphological cell changes to UV-B supplementation in greenhouse conditions as well as the impact of successive harvests on the same plant. UV-B radiation and cutting led to a reduction in FW, but they also showed an increase in DW. Furthermore, UV-B radiation, cutting, and plant growth stage had significant effects on TPC, TFC, and AC in both cultivars. Applying 10.5 kJ m−2 of UV-B radiation or performing different harvests resulted in increased TFC in ‘Levistro’, exhibiting a remarkable 91% increase at the third harvest compared to the control group (0 kJ m−2 at the first harvest). UV-B radiation also induced changes in anatomical cell distribution in both cultivars, leading to a 37% increase in intracellular space in ‘Levistro’ and a reduction of up to 8.2% in ‘Carmoli’. Lastly, at a later stage of plant development (9-10th true leaves), ‘Carmoli’ demonstrated a 51% increase in TPC, 95% in TFC, and 65% in TAC, highlighting its potential as an intriguing strategy to obtain lettuce varieties with higher antioxidant properties. These findings underscore the significance of implementing cultural management techniques to enhance the antioxidant composition of lettuce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production)
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14 pages, 1339 KiB  
Article
Effect of EC Levels of Nutrient Solution on Glasswort (Salicornia perennis Mill.) Production in Floating System
by Esra Okudur and Yuksel Tuzel
Horticulturae 2023, 9(5), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9050555 - 04 May 2023
Viewed by 1490
Abstract
Halophytes have evolved to tolerate high salinity environments. The halophyte glasswort (Salicornia and Sarcocornia species) grows by the sea or in salty soils and can be consumed with pleasure. In this study, the cultivation of glasswort was studied by testing the effects of [...] Read more.
Halophytes have evolved to tolerate high salinity environments. The halophyte glasswort (Salicornia and Sarcocornia species) grows by the sea or in salty soils and can be consumed with pleasure. In this study, the cultivation of glasswort was studied by testing the effects of different electrical conductivity (EC) levels (10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 mS cm−1) of a nutrient solution. Salicornia perennis Mill. was grown on floating systems in unheated greenhouse conditions. To adjust the different EC levels, sodium chloride was added to the Hoagland nutrient solution (EC: 2 mS cm−1). Plant growth and yield parameters, shoot color, evapotranspiration, and shoot nutrient content were determined. Among the tested EC levels, the highest plant height (33.56 cm), shoot (172.75 g) and root fresh weights (41.74 g), stem diameter (7.85 mm), and fresh biomass (2864.06 g m−2) were obtained from an EC level of 25 mS cm−1. There were no significant differences in shoot color excluding b* and chroma values. It was concluded that glasswort could be grown in hydroponic systems as a new crop and that an EC value of 25 mS cm−1 is the most appropriate for the cultivation of Salicornia perennis Mill. on floating systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production)
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12 pages, 1691 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Nutritional Quality of Tomato Fruit with Funneliformis mosseae Inoculation under Greenhouse Conditions
by Fazal Ullah, Habib Ullah, Muhammad Ishfaq, Syeda Leeda Gul, Tanweer Kumar and Zhifang Li
Horticulturae 2023, 9(4), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9040448 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1740
Abstract
Long-term soil mining with extensive cultivation practices and traditional breeding methods have declined the flavor and nutritional value of tomatoes. Apart from important mineral nutrients (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), fungi known as arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) can considerably improve the quality of agricultural [...] Read more.
Long-term soil mining with extensive cultivation practices and traditional breeding methods have declined the flavor and nutritional value of tomatoes. Apart from important mineral nutrients (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), fungi known as arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) can considerably improve the quality of agricultural production through higher phosphate uptake. Using hydroponically cultured commercially available tomato cultivars, we investigated the possible effects of mycorrhizae in improving the nutritional quality of tomato fruit. Funneliformis mosseae (syn. Glomus mosseae)-inoculated tomato plants were grown on a 1:1 mixture of peat and vermiculite, and different phosphorus levels were applied. RNAseq and metabolites were studied to confirm the relative gene expression and metabolites in fruit tissues. The results showed that AM inoculation with low phosphorus can significantly improve important fruit-quality traits such as free amino acids, lycopene (47.9%), and β-carotene (29.6%) without compromising the yield. Further, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified by comparing the nutritional and ripening potential of fruits produced by mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants. Notably, carotenoids and sugars (BRIX values) were found to be higher in mycorrhized plants in contrast to non-mycorrhized plants. Therefore, the current study suggests mycorrhization as a promising approach for the production of high-quality tomato fruit for human consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production)
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