Design of an easy-to-make hydroponic cultivation medium to obtain root systems in sunflower during early vegetative growth

Hydroponic growth systems are a practical platform for obtaining healthy seedlings in a non-destructive way and, therefore, studying whole plant morpho-physiology.

Nonetheless, the sunflower is a crop with poor growth and survivability under the hydroponic systems currently used. In this study, our aim was to design a hydroponic cultivation medium to obtain root systems of sunflower seedlings during their early vegetative growth phase. Sunflower seeds were germinated between moistened paper towels for 72 h.

Following germination, the seedlings were transferred to plastic containers filled with water. Subsequently, water was replaced by Hoagland solution, and each container was connected to the aeration system. When the seedlings were 24 days old, they were removed from the hydroponic system for subsequent determinations. Parameters such as pH, oxygen content, electrical conductivity, and light conditions are provided.

The various morpho-anatomical parameters that were quantified include principal root length, number of lateral roots, and insertion angle, among others. We were able to develop a sunflower hydroponic growth system that can be easily and economically constructed and that allows the production of seedlings and the obtaining of a clean root system for subsequent determinations.

Boero, A., Ramírez, F., Vigliocco, A. et al. The Design of an Easy-to-Make Hydroponic Cultivation Medium to Obtain Root Systems in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) During Early Vegetative Growth. J Plant Growth Regul 42, 2189–2195 (2023).

Read the complete paper here.

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