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Print version ISSN 0102-0536
PAULUS, Dalva; DOURADO NETO, Durval; FRIZZONE, José Antônio and SOARES, Tales M. Production and physiologic indicators of lettuce grown in hydroponics with saline water. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp. 29-35. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362010000100006.
The use of saline water in the production of vegetables constitutes at the moment an essential activity, facing the rising demand of fresh water, as for the agricultural activity as for the urban and industrial supplying. This study aimed to evaluate production and physiologic indicators of lettuce in hydroponic system with the use of saline waters. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse in the period from December 2007 to January 2008, in Piracicaba, Brazil. The experimental design was randomized blocks in factorial scheme - five salinity levels obtained with the addition of NaCl, which resulted in different water electrical conductivity levels (dS m-1): 0,42, 1,53, 3,52, 5,55, 7,43 - and two cultivars of lettuce - Veronica and Pira Roxa. It was determined the fresh and dry mass of leaves, stem, roots and shoot and the content of nitrate, proline and chlorophyll. The increase of water salinity reduced lineally the fresh and dry mass of leaves, stem, roots and shoot. The cv Verônica produced 36% and 57% more shoot fresh and dry mass, respectively, than Pira Roxa. The cv. Pira Roxa accumulated 25% more nitrate (3008 mg L-1), presented 50% more total chlorophyll (1,46 mg g-1fresh mass) and 71,43% more proline (0,21 µM g fresh mass - 1) than the cv Verônica, showing a mechanism of avoiding salinity stress. Cultivars Pira Roxa and Veronica presented loss of 69% and 64% of commercial productivity, respectively, when the most saline water (7,43 dS m-1) was used. In the other hand dry matter was reduced in 53% and 44%, respectively, for cv. Pira Roxa and Verônica in the most saline water. The results obtained in this study can indicate the possibility of using saline water as an alternative for the production of vegetables, specially for growers that have saline water available but restricted fresh water, even with reduction of productivity.
Keywords : Lactuca sativa; salinity; nutrient solution.