It's well known that species of the Salicornia genus can grow under high salinity levels. In Europe, some of them have gained popularity in gourmet cuisine as a replacement for asparagus due to their peculiar salty taste. For this reason, their economic value has increased in recent years.
Researchers from The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in Israel experimented to determine the effect of molybdate application on the total yield and two molybdenum-containing enzymes in Salicornia europaea L. The experiment was carried out under greenhouse conditions and Salicornia plants were planted in 20-L baskets filled with perlite. The seawater-nutrient solution was prepared with Red Sea Salt® and freshwater and supplemented with a Hoagland nutrient solution using two sources of nutrient (nitrate or ammonium). Three treatments with different molybdenum concentrations were tested: 0, 3, and 6 µM (given as sodium molybdate). A multiple-harvest system was applied by cropping the plants every 4 weeks.
Increasing molybdate levels in the growth medium supplemented with nitrate or ammonium enhanced the yield. In the same sense, NR and XDH activities were enhanced with increasing molybdate, indicating that the activity of both enzymes may play an important role in facilitating yield accumulation. The results suggest that the supply of molybdate to S. europaea L. growing under seawater conditions improves the yield accumulation by increasing the activities of both molybdenum-containing enzymes.