Growth and development of tomato plants Lycopersicon Esculentum Mill. under different saline conditions by fertirrigation with pretreated cheese whey wastewater

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Pretreated cheese whey wastewater (CWW) has been used at different salinity levels: 1.75, 2.22, 3.22, 5.02 and 10.02 dS m−1 and compared with fresh water (1.44 dS m−1). Two cultivars (cv.) of the tomato plant Lycopersicon Esculentum Mill. (Roma and Rio Grande) were exposed to saline conditions for 72 days. Salinity level (treatment) had no significant effects on the fresh weight and dry matter of the leaves, stems and roots. Similar results were found when specific leaf area, leaflet area, ramifications number of 1st order/plant, stem diameter and length, nodes number/stem and primary root length were considered. Conversely, the salinity level significantly influenced the Soil Plant Analysis Development (SPAD) index and the distance between nodes in the plant stem. In the first case, an increase of 21% was obtained in the salinity levels of 5.02 and 10.02 dS m−1 for cv. Rio Grande, compared with the control run. The results showed that the pretreated CWW can be a source of nutrients for tomato plants, with reduced effects on growth and development.

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