A promising strategy for sustainably increasing the quality and yield of horticultural products is the use of natural plant biostimulants. In this work, through a greenhouse experiment, we evaluated the effect of a legume-derived biostimulant at three dose treatments (0.0 control, 2.5 mL L-1, and 5.0 mL L-1) on the yield performance, nutrients traits, leaf anatomical traits, gas exchanges, and carbon photosynthetic assimilation of greenhouse lettuce. The lettuce plants were foliar sprayed every 7 days for 5 weeks. The application of plant biostimulant, at both lower and higher dosages, increased the nutrient use efficiency, root dry weight, and leaf area. However, it is noteworthy that the 5.0 mL L-1 dose enhanced photosynthetic activity in the early phase of growth (15 DAT), thus supplying carbon skeletons useful for increasing the number of leaves and their efficiency (higher SPAD), and for boosting nutrient uptake (P, S, and K) and transport to leaves, while the 2.5 mL L-1 dose exerted specific effects on roots, increasing their dimension and enabling them to better use nitrate and Ca. A higher dose of biostimulant application might find its way in shorter growing cycle, thus presenting new horizons for new lines of research in baby leaves production.
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