Effects of different substrate composition on the growth and physiology of blackberries in soilless system
In the present study, the blackberry cultivar 'Ningzhi 4' was grown in soilless cultivation to test the effect of different substrate materials. Three substrate compositions were prepared as follows: formula A, 100% coconut coir; formula B, 50% coconut coir and 50% perlite; formula C, 50% coconut coir and 50% vermiculite. Plant growth, photosynthetic pigments, proteins and MDA contents, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and the levels of antioxidants such as ascorbate (AsA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) in leaves were investigated during different stages of development. Our results showed that plant growth was not significantly different among different formulas, although the plant stem diameter, number of branches and branch length tended to be lower with formula B than the other two formulas. Moreover, photosynthetic pigments of formula A was higher, MDA content of formula A was lower, and there were no significant differences in the generation rate of O2- between different formulas, except for formula B in July. The contents of AsA, GSH and protein and the activity of SOD of formula B was the highest, which was due to the increased MDA content and the generation rate of O2-. Combined with these physiological analysis, our results suggest that formula A and C are better suited for the growth of blackberry cultivar 'Ningzhi 4' but more research is still needed.
Yang, H.Y., Wu, W.L., Dong, S.S., Huang, Z.J., Lyu, L.F. and Li, W.L. (2020). Effects of different substrate composition on the growth and physiology of blackberries in soilless system. Acta Hortic. 1277, 337-344
'Ningzhi 4', blackberry (Rubus spp.), substrate formula, physiology