Calcium and bicarbonate effects on the growth and nutrient uptake of burley tobacco seedlings: Hydroponic culture

Robert C. Pearce, Yongmei Li, Lowell P. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

In soilless production systems, water quality can have a major impact on the growth of plants. It has become evident that moderately alkaline water is a problem for tobacco transplant growers in some regions of Kentucky. To determine the level of bicarbonate (HCO3-) alkalinity, which is detrimental to burley tobacco transplants, and to better understand the effect of calcium (Ca) and the interaction of HCO3- and Ca on the growth of burley tobacco transplants grown in a float system, three levels of CaCl2 (25, 75, and 125 mg L-1 Ca++) in factorial combination with five levels of HCO3- (0, 122, 244, 366, and 488 mg HCO3-L-1) were tested in nutrient solution culture. Four-week-old burley tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. var. KY-907) seedlings were transplanted to 18-L containers filled with aerated Hoagland's solution with the different levels of calcium and HCO3- for two weeks. High HCO3- alkalinity caused root system damage and plant growth inhibition, but did not induce iron (Fe) chlorosis. A significantly lower concentration of Zinc (Zn) was measured in the shoots as HCO3- levels in solution increased. In the presence of high calcium, plant growth was not significantly improved. No significant interaction of HCO3- and Ca on growth or nutrient uptake was observed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1078
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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