GROWTH OF BLUEBERRY CULTIVARS IN NFT HYDROPONIC SYSTEM
The expansion of blueberry crop is affected by propagation difficulties and slow plant development. Hydroponics is an alternative technique that offers several advantages for many crops. The objective of this study was to evaluate growth and microcuttings yield of micropropagated plants of blueberry cultivars Bluebelle, Bluegem, Georgiagem and Delite in hydroponic system. The experiment was conducted from May to October of 2010. Plants originated from tissue culture were transplanted to NFT gullies. The NFT system consisted of cultivation benches made of cement tile. Plants spacing was 0.18 m between-rows distance (gullies) and 0.10m within-row distance. The irrigation frequency varied according to the plant development. Randomized blocks experimental design was used with four treatments (cultivars) and four replications composed of ten plants each. Plant height, number and average length of shoots were evaluated at 0, 30, 90, 120 and 150 days after setting. Number of microcuttings produced, leaf area, fresh and dry mass of above-ground plant parts were evaluated at 150 days after setting. All cultivars showed a gradual increase in growth according to the time of cultivation. However, cultivar Bluegem presented better results. All variables showed significant differences among cultivars at 60, 90, 120 and 150 days after setting. Bluegem plants presented the highest values of microcuttings produced (36.47), fresh mass (201.45 g), dry mass (74.87 g) and leaf area (529.22 cm2) at 150 days of cultivation.
Schuch, M.W., Peil , R.M.N. and Nascimento, D.C. (2012). GROWTH OF BLUEBERRY CULTIVARS IN NFT HYDROPONIC SYSTEM. Acta Hortic. 952, 871-875
Vaccinium spp., transplant production, hydroponics, microcutting, nutrient film technique