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Title: Cotton and cardoon byproducts as potential growing media components for Cichorium spinosum L. commercial cultivation
Authors: Petropoulos, Spyridon A. 
Fernandes, Ângela 
Stojković, Dejan S. 
Pereira, Carla 
Taofiq, Oludemi 
Di Gioia, Francesco 
Tzortzakis, Nikos G. 
Soković, Marina 
Barros, Lillian 
Ferreira, Isabel C. F. R. 
Major Field of Science: Agricultural Sciences
Field Category: Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries
Keywords: Antimicrobial properties;Antioxidant activity;Circular economy;Cotton ginning byproducts;Growth substrates;Phenolic compounds profile;Soilless cultivation;Sustainable agriculture;Zeolite
Issue Date: 10-Dec-2019
Source: Journal of Cleaner Production, 2019, vol. 240, artic. no. 118254
Volume: 240
Journal: Journal of Cleaner Production 
Abstract: The intensification of horticultural crops cultivation makes urgent the seeking for alternative growth substrates that could substitute non-renewable and/or synthetic growing media, such as peat and rock wool. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential use of byproducts from two industrial crops commonly cultivated in the Mediterranean basin, namely cardoon and cotton, as growth substrates for Cichorium spinosum, while zeolite addition was also tested as a soil amendment. A pot experiment was carried for two consecutive growing periods and plant growth was evaluated for six growing media compositions, while plant extracts were also evaluated in terms of their phenolic compounds profile, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. The results of this study showed that cotton byproducts and zeolite may partially substitute peat in growth substrate of C. spinosum and high yields comparable to peat may be achieved. Phenolic compounds content and antioxidant activity of leaves' extracts was higher for plants grown in soil which showed severe stress symptoms comparing to the other tested substrate blends. Antimicrobial activity was also affected by growth substrate composition, only in the case of antibacterial properties of leaves' extracts, whereas none of the extracts presented significant antifungal activities. In conclusion, the use of cotton ginning byproducts and zeolite in growth substrate blends may partially substitute conventional substrates as peat in horticultural crops production, resulting in reduction of production cost and lessening of bulky byproducts’ management and related environmental burden without compromising yield.
ISSN: 0959-6526
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118254
Rights: © Elsevier 2019
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Type: Article
Affiliation : University of Thessaly 
Instituto Politécnico de Bragança 
University of Belgrade 
Pennsylvania State University 
Cyprus University of Technology 
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