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Ventura Y.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Wuddineh W.A.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Shpigel M.,Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research | Samocha T.M.,Texas A&M University | And 5 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Salicornia is a new vegetable crop that can be irrigated with highly saline water, even at salt concentrations equivalent to full-strength seawater. During leafy vegetable cultivation, the onset of the reproductive phase is an undesired phenomenon that reduces yield and quality and prevents year-round cultivation. Knowledge about the regulation of floral induction in the members of the tribe Salicornieae, however, is lacking. To establish year-round cultivation, we studied the flower induction of five Salicornia and two Sarcocornia varieties. Plants were grown under two day lengths, 13.5h and 18h, and harvested by a repetitive harvest regime. A 13.5-h day length prevented flower induction in the Israeli Salicornia varieties, but a longer day length was required to prevent flower induction in two species originating from more northern latitudes. The onset of the reproductive phase under suboptimal short day length conditions severely reduced vegetative growth and yields in Salicornia. In Sarcocornia, the repetitive harvest regime prevented flowering, making it a promising candidate for year-round cultivation. Irrigating the plants with full-strength seawater (electrical conductivity 48dSm-1) vs. water with moderate salinity (electrical conductivity 10dSm-1) did not change the general flowering pattern of the studied Salicornieae members. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Ventura Y.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Myrzabayeva M.,L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University | Alikulov Z.,L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University | Cohen S.,Ramat Negev Desert Agro Research Station | And 2 more authors.
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2013

Aster tripolium L. is a salt marsh halophyte that has recently gained interest as a cash crop vegetable. Leaf yield and quality were investigated in plants grown with salinity in experiments with Perlite in pots and in plots on dune sand. Plants were repetitively harvested in a 14-day cycle. A. tripolium irrigated with 50mM NaCl exhibited the highest yield when grown in pots, whereas in the plot experiment no significant differences in biomass accumulation occurred up to 80mM NaCl in the irrigation water. Chemical leaf composition changed with salinity, exhibiting higher levels of electrical conductivity, total soluble solutes and the non-enzymatic antioxidant compounds ascorbic acid and polyphenols compared with control plants grown without NaCl supplementation. Using the repetitive harvest regime, leaf chlorosis occurred, a symptom shared by deficiencies in either nitrogen or iron. Comparative applications of five iron chelate formulations in plants grown with 50mM NaCl in pots revealed improved leaf colour and chlorophyll content for only two of the applied Fe-chelates. Concomitantly with leaf colour restoration, the activity of nitrate reductase, the first enzyme during nitrate assimilation, which requires heme-iron for its proper function, increased 3-fold as a result of the iron treatment in the plot experiment. Importantly, the enhancement of nitrate reductase activity was associated with a considerable decrease in the leaf nitrate concentration. Therefore, we concluded that iron deficiency, in addition to leaf chlorosis, reduces A. tripolium leaf quality as a vegetable by increasing the leaf nitrate content. Furthermore, nitrate reductase (NR) activity levels in A. tripolium leaves may act as an indicator of iron deficiency that manifests itself as reduced nitrate content owing to the higher NR activity upon proper iron nutrition. These results demonstrate the importance of salinity level and the application of an appropriate iron-chelating formulation to generate marketable yields of Aster tripolium leafy vegetable when grown commercially on dune sand. © CSIRO 2013.

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