Different species of basil need different ammonium to nitrate ratio in hydroponics' system



Basil is a very important medicinal plant and culinary spice, and is marketed fresh, dried or frozen. In crop nutrition, nitrogen is essential for plant growth and as a macro-element, is part of the proteins’ structure and participates in the metabolic processes involved in the synthesis and energy transfer. It has been shown that a balance between ammonium and nitrate favors plant growth and that the degree of benefit varies among crops. This study was conducted to evaluate the growth of two varieties of basil in function of four nutrient solutions containing different NH4+/NO3- ratios. Results showed that different variety response differently to nutrient solution. Although the highest yield in both varieties (sweet and purple) was obtained when fed by nutrient solution without ammonium but their response on quality indices were different due to nitrate ammonium ratio in nutrient solutions. The highest total phenol content of sweet and purple basil was 92 and 100 mg gallic acid equivalent per gram of dry weight respectively, while the highest antioxidant capacity was obtained in purple variety grown in nutrient solution 2 (NH4+:1/NO3:4) and the lowest value were related to sweet variety with the same nutrient solution. Moderate content of total nitrogen can be suitable for sweet variety while for purple variety nutrient solution with low amount of ammonium can be more suitable.


basil; spices; drug plants; essential oil crops; plant physiology; plant nutrition; growth; proximate composition; antioxidants; phenolic compounds; aromatic compounds

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14720/aas.2014.103.2.7


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