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S. Gamiely, W.M. Randle, H.A. Mills and D.A. Smittle

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S. Gamiely, W.M. Randle, H.A. Mills, D.A. Smittle and G.I. Banna

Nitrogen applied as NH4-N or NO3-N (75 mg·liter-1) affected onion (AIlium cepa L.) plant growth when grown in solution culture. Nitrate alone or in combination with NH4-N increased leaf fresh and dry weight, leaf area, root fresh and dry weight, and bulb dry weight when compared to growth with NH4-N as the sole N source. Bulb fresh weight was highest with an NH4-N: NO3-N ratio between 1:3 and 3:1. Maximum leaf fresh weight was not necessary to produce maximum bulb fresh weight when onions were subjected to different N-form ratios. Precocious bulbing resulted when NH4-N was the sole N source; however, high bulbing ratios early in plant development were not correlated with final bulb fresh weight. Nitrogen form also influenced water uptake and pungency, as measured by enzymatically developed pyruvate concentration, but did not affect bulb sugar concentration.