While plant microorganisms can promote plants by producing natural antibiotics, they can also be vectors for disease transmission. Contamination from plant management practices and the surrounding environment can adversely affect plants, leading to infections and hindered growth due to microbial competition for nutrients.

The recirculation of nutrient-rich fluids can facilitate the transport of microorganisms between vegetables in the hydroponic production system. This issue can be addressed through the application of the decontamination method in the hydroponic liquid. Ultraviolet light (UV-C) has been employed for microbiology, and its effects on lettuce were evaluated in this study. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a decontamination system using UV-C in hydroponic solutions during nutrient recirculation in hydroponics.

Researchers evaluated the time required for lettuce plants to reach their maximum height, as well as their pigment content, phenolic compounds, antioxidant capacity, and micro and macronutrient levels. The evaluation was conducted under two photoperiods (18 and 20 hours) in lettuce samples exposed to UV-C in the hydroponic fluid, with control groups not exposed to UV-C. The application of the UV-C decontamination system in hydroponic circulation water containing nutrients accelerated plant growth while maintaining nutritional values equal to or higher than those in the control groups without such a system.

The results of microorganism control highlight the potential application of this technique for enhancing and expediting vegetable production. This approach reduces production time and enhances nutrient absorption and the content of certain compounds and minerals.

Perez, S.L., Ferro, R.B., CorrĂȘa, B. et al. Enhanced vegetable production in hydroponic systems using decontamination of closed circulating fluid. Sci Rep 14, 602 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-50974-9

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