Ag Data Commons
3 files

Exploring the Benefits of Brackish Water and Halophytes for Human Health

posted on 2024-02-21, 20:19 authored by Geno PicchioniGeno Picchioni, Ivette Guzman, Brian J. Schutte, Manoj K. Shukla, Robert Steiner

The goal of this project is to evaluate the potential for brackish groundwater and its desalination concentrate to increase the production of human health-promoting secondary metabolites by three Southwestern U.S. native halophyte species, Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. (fourwing saltbush), Atriplex lentiformis (Torr.) S. Watson (big saltbush), and Lepidium alyssoides A. Gray var. alyssoides (mesa pepperwort). In addition to secondary metabolites such as phenolics and total antioxidants, we have also been monitoring plant biomass production, evapotranspiration (ET), and salt uptake. The data have been managed by the project director (Picchioni) assisted by one undergraduate and one graduate student. Data collection occurred in two phases and in two locations. Two duplicate experiments were completed between March and December 2021 in a greenhouse at the Fabian Garcia Agricultural Sciences Center located 2 km from the main campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Greenhouse data include crop evapotranspiration, irrigation solution chemical composition, and biomass production. After each greenhouse experiment, laboratory analyses were made for dried biomass production, total and specific phenolics, total antioxidant activity, glucosinolates, and inorganic ions. Data were transferred from lab notebooks and data acquisition documents to spreadsheets, graphs, text, and SAS version 9.4 for statistical analysis.

For the two halophyte experiments in 2021, the timelines were as follows. In Experiment 1, the seed were sown on March 11, saline irrigation began on May 20 at 1/4X full salt concentration, and harvest (termination) was on July 1. In Experiment 2, the seed were sown on July 6, irrigation at 1/4X salt began on September 16, and the plants were harvested on October 28. A related study on two domesticated vegetable crops (Swiss chard and leaf lettuce), also funded by the NIFA grant, was conducted in winter-spring 2022. Only the data from the halophyte experiments are included in the dataset.

The dataset is divided into three main parts. Part A includes general information about the experiments. Part B includes data on biomass production, evapotranspiration, irrigation, and plant mineral concentrations. Part C includes the data on secondary metabolites, namely total phenolic and total antioxidant concentrations. Questions about the dataset may be directed to Dr. G.A. Picchioni at

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: Part B - Biomass_Evapotranspiration_Irrigation_Plant Ion Concentrations.

    File Name: Part B Biomass_ET_Irrig_Ion

  • Resource Title: Part C - Secondary Metabolites.

    File Name: Part C Secondary

  • Resource Title: Part A - General Information.

    File Name: Part A General


USDA-NIFA: GR0006726


Data contact name

Picchioni, Geno

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

New Mexico State University Main Campus, Skeen Hall, 945 College Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88003

ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming
  • health

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

groundwater; desalination; health promotion; secondary metabolites; indigenous species; halophytes; phenolic compounds; antioxidants; monitoring; phytomass; biomass production; evapotranspiration; data collection; irrigation; greenhouse experimentation; antioxidant activity; glucosinolates; inorganic ions; graphs; salt concentration; vegetable crops; mineral content; brackish water; human health; salinity; phytonutrients; Atriplex canescens; Atriplex lentiformis; Lepidium alyssoides; New Mexico

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Picchioni, Geno A.; Guzman, Ivette; Schutte, Brian J.; Shukla, Manoj K.; Steiner, Robert (2023). Exploring the Benefits of Brackish Water and Halophytes for Human Health. Ag Data Commons.