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      Environmental modification of yield and nutrient composition of 'Waldmann's Green' leaf lettuce.

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          Abstract

          Leaf number, dry weight, and nutrient composition of Lactuca sativa L. cv. Waldmann's Green leaves were compared following 9 days of treatment in a controlled environment room under various combinations of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF:350 vs 800 micromoles m-2 s-1), atmospheric CO2 level (ambient vs 1500 micromoles mol-1), and single-strength (1X:15 mM) vs double-strength (2X:30 mM) nitrogen (N) as NO3- alone or as NH4(+) + NO3- (1:5 molar ratio). CO2 enrichment greatly enhanced leaf number under all PPF and N conditions, but increased leaf dry weight only at high PPF. Conditions favoring high photosynthesis enhanced leaf starch content 3-fold, and protein content increased as much as 64% with 2X NH4(+)+NO3-. Free sugar content was 6 to 9% of leaf dry weight for all treatment combinations, while fat was 1.5 to 3.5%. Ash content varied from 15 to 20% of leaf dry weight. Modified controlled environments can be used to enhance the nutritional content as well as the yield of crops to be used for life support in space-deployed, self-sustaining human habitats. Leaf lettuce is a useful model crop for demonstrating the potential of nutritional value added by environmental manipulation.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Food Qual
          Journal of food quality
          0146-9428
          0146-9428
          Jan 1997
          : 20
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Horticulture, NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Bioregenerative Life Support, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.
          Article
          11539875

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