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Effects of selenium on aquaponics lettuce

Aquaponics is a sustainable technique that is respectful to the environment, as it reuses products and minimizes the consumption of new materials. The combination of this technique with the foliar application of selenium (as Na2SeO4) could lead to healthier and more sustainable products, which are increasingly requested by consumers.

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) plants were grown in an aquaponics system (fish water) as compared with a control (conventional soilless fertigation), and sprayed with different concentrations of selenium (0, 4, 8, and 16 µmol L−1). The results showed a reduction in the dry weight and N content of lettuce plants irrigated with the fish water mixture treatment. However, the application of Se relieved this stress, increasing the photosynthetic rate and ABTS, and reducing the content of chlorophylls, β-carotene, and several of the measured amino acids.

The best results were observed with the highest concentration of Se (16 µmol L−1), as an increase in nitrogen content was observed, as shown by a greater weight of the plant. Furthermore, this treatment produced the greatest increase in ABTS and the least reduction in amino acid content. This novel study highlights the possibility of improving the efficiency of N utilization in lettuce by applying foliar selenium in combination with an aquaponics system.

Read the complete research at

Zapata, Maria Carmen & Otálora, Ginés & Collado, Jacinta & López-Marin, Josefa & Del Amor, Francisco. (2021). Effects of Selenium on the Chlorophylls, Gas Exchange, Antioxidant Activity and Amino Acid Composition of Lettuce Grown under an Aquaponics System. Horticulturae. 8. 30. 10.3390/horticulturae8010030. 

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