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  • Author or Editor: Mark S. Wolynetz x
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Butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. ‘Montana’) plants were grown in recirculating solution culture in growth chambers under various combinations of day temperatures (TD; 12°, 15°, 19.5°, or 22.5°C) and night temperatures (TN; 5° or 14°) and root-zone temperature (TR; 20°, 23°, 26°, or 29°) Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) was 3.8 mol·day−1·m−2. Leaf area and weight were determined at 7-day intervals. The final harvest followed 28 days of treatments. There were no significant interaction effects between TD and TN. An increase of TD from 12° to 19.5° increased fresh and dry leaf weight and leaf area at final harvest, but increasing TN from 5° to 14° had little effect. Specific leaf area and leaf area ratio increased with increasing TD and TN. Leaf weight ratio increased with TD but remained constant with TN. The overall effect of TR on plant size was minor. Dry weight of roots decreased with increasing TR at the 14- and 21-day harvests, but fresh and dry leaf weights were not affected. Leaf area increased with TR up to 26°. Increases in TR resulted in increased values for specific leaf area, leaf area ratio, and leaf weight ratio at final harvest. The results suggest that some butterhead lettuce cultivars may be grown satisfactorily under low daily PPF by allowing TN to decline to 5° while maintaining TD at ≈ 19°C. In ‘Montana’, increasing TR above 20° under those conditions had little beneficial effect on plant size at harvest.

Open Access