Nutrient solutions for Arabidopsis thaliana: A study on nutrient solution composition in hydroponics systems

Sander H. Van Delden*, Mohammad Javad Nazarideljou, Leo F.M. Marcelis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is little information on the effect of nutrient solutions composition on Arabidopsis growth. Therefore, we compared growth performance of Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) grown on the most commonly used nutrient solutions in deep water culture: Hoagland and Arnon, Murashige and Skoog, Tocquin, Hermans, and Conn. In addition to these nutrient solution composition experiments, we established Arabidopsis growth response curves for nutrient solution concentration and salt stress (NaCl). Results: Arabidopsis rosette fresh and dry weight showed an approximate linear decline with NaCl dose in deep water culture, i.e. 9% reduction relative to control per unit of electrical conductivity (EC in dS m-1, for scale comprehension 1 dS m-1 equals ~ 10 mM NaCl). The Tocquin, ½Hoagland and Conn nutrient solutions had equal and optimal growth performance. Optimal nutrient solution concentration for Tocquin and Hoagland was 0.8 to 0.9 dS m-1. Close to the EC of ½Hoagland (1.1 dS m-1), which is frequently used in Arabidopsis research. Conn solution showed optimal growth at much higher EC (2 dS m-1) indicating that it is a balanced nutrient solution that matches the needs of Arabidopsis. Full Murashige and Skoog solution (5.9 dS m-1) was lethal and diluted solutions (EC of 1.6 and 1.1 dS m-1) caused stress symptoms and severe growth retardation at later developmental stages. Conclusions: Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) plants grown in deep water culture showed a sixfold growth difference when commonly used nutrient solutions were compared. Murashige and Skoog solution should not be used as nutrient solution in deep water culture. Conn, Tocquin and ½Hoagland are balanced nutrient solutions which result in optimal Arabidopsis growth in hydroponic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
JournalPlant Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020


  • Electrical conductivity (EC)
  • Growth
  • Hydroponic system
  • Nutrient solution
  • Salt (NaCl) response


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