Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus Inoculation of Two Lettuce Cultivars Affects Leaf and Root Growth under Hydroponic Conditions

Ryan L. Sebring, Sjoerd W. Duiker, Robert D. Berghage, John M. Regan, Joshua D. Lambert, Ray B. Bryant

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9 Scopus citations


The growth-promoting effects of Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus inoculation on the leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) cultivars “Black Seeded Simpson” and “Bibb/Limestone” were investigated. Plants of each cultivar were grown hydroponically in Kratky jars in a growth chamber-controlled environment in a completely randomized factorial design with three or four replications. Each experiment was repeated once. Factors were (1) with or without inoculant and (2) seven levels of nitrogen (N) fertilization ranging from deficient (37.5 mg L−1 N) to excessive (172.5 mg L−1 N). The shoot, root, and total biomass accumulation, nitrogen density, and carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratios were measured for each variety. Black Seeded Simpson demonstrated a shifting of production towards aerial tissues, with significantly greater shoot production and reduced root production. The observed increase in shoot biomass was greatest at the slightly deficient N rate of 105 mg L−1 N where inoculated plants produced 14.8% more than uninoculated plants. Lower N density and higher C/N ratios in inoculated shoot tissues indicate greater N use efficiency. Bibb/Limestone responded to inoculation with an average increase of 10.9% in shoot production and with greater root biomass. Bibb/Limestone also exhibited lower N density in inoculated shoot tissues with a corresponding increase in the C/N ratio. For growers looking to maximize lettuce yields, G. diaz inoculation may present a beneficial additive to the growing system by increasing leaf yields while not increasing N fertilizer requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1585
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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