The simultaneous and discriminative measurement of the photosynthesis and the respiration of the plant was attained by simultaneous monitoring of 13CO2 and 12CO2 by artificial control of 13CO2 abundance of ambient air. The principle of the measurement is based on the following physiological processes. 6CO2 + 12H2O --> C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O, 6(13C)O2 + 12H2O --> (13C6)H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O, 6CO2 + 12H2(18O) --> C6H12O6 + 6(18O)18O + 6H20. Assuming that respiratory consumption of the new born carbon substrate fixed by photosynthesis is negligible during the measurement, the photosynthetic CO2 consumption VPCO2 and the respiratory CO2 production VRCO2 are measured according to the estimation (1) or (2), (1) for closed method, VPCO2 = k(V0 - V t)¿ F13CO2 + (F12CO2/F13CO2)F13CO2 ¿, VRCO2 = k(V0 - V t)¿ F12CO2 - (F12CO2/F13CO2)F13CO2 ¿, (2) for open method, VPCO2 = kVE ¿ (FI13CO2 - FE13CO2) + (F12CO2/F13CO2)(FI13CO2 - FE13CO2) ¿, VRCO2 = kVE ¿ (FI12CO2 - FE12CO2) - (F12CO2/F13CO2)(FI13CO2 - FE13CO2) ¿ where V0 is initial volume of growth chamber including attached flexible bag, FICO2 is the inlet or initial gas concentration of CO2 and FECO2 is the ambient gas concentration of CO2 in the chamber, V and VE are the sampling rate of mass spectrometer and the ventilation rate of the growth chamber respectively, k is the STPD conversion factor = ¿273(PB-PH2O)/760(273+tE)¿, tE(degrees C) is the ambient gas temperature. In the closed method, the gas container of the growth chamber is circulated, resulting FECO2 is varied according to the balance of consumption and production of CO2, while in the open method VE is controlled to keep FECO2 at a constant value. Both (1) and (2) methods were examined and evaluated on the measurements of komatsuna and maize.
We researched effects of diurnal change of the mineral concentration on tomato yield and nutrient absorption. First, we examined the effect on yield in a spray culture, in the experiment 1-1, when nitrate concentration of solution (N) and potassium concentration (K) were low and phosphate concentration (P) was high during the daytime, while N and K were high and P was low during the night, the yield was low. In the experiment 1-2, when N and K were high and P was low during the daytime, while N and K were low and P was high during the night, the yield was low. Second, we examined the effect on nutrient absorption in a water culture. Concentration of KNO3, of solution was changed in the daytime or the night. When KNO3 level was low during the daytime, while it was high during the night, total nitrate and potassium absorption for 24 hours was the highest. It were showed the possibility of the efficient supply of minerals to plants by the diurnal control in minerals.
The production system for grafted seedlings mainly consists of three processes; 1) growth of seedlings, 2) grafting of seedlings, and 3) acclimation of grafted seedlings. Of the three processes, the duration of acclimation is highly influenced by the acclimation conditions. The acclimation environment after grafting was controlled to be satisfied the demands of grafted seedlings in the point of the physiological reaction such as photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, and translocation nutrients. In the present study, a preliminary experiment was conducted to understand the relationship between the factors concerned with the acclimation of grafted seedlings, using a new acclimation apparatus. The factors of interest were air temperature, relative humidity, light, and carbon dioxide concentration. In the presence of light, the air temperature and relative humidity were interfered each other, so that both factors were difficult to keep at a constant value. Furthermore, the concentration of carbon dioxide was remarkably fluctuated by the relative humidity regulated by the humidifier and dehumidification which was controlled by the temperature differences between water and ambient air. A new device of acclimation system which is automatically controlled would be expected to construct in near future. Such a device will make it possible to shorten the duration of acclimation and produce high quality of grafted seedlings.
In the development of a plant growth model, the assumptions made and the general equations representing an understanding of plant growth are gradually refined as more information is acquired through experimentation. One such experiment that contributed to sweetpotato model development consisted of measuring biomass accumulation of sweetpotato grown in hydroponic culture in a plant growth chamber. Plants were started from fifteen centimeter long 'TU-82-155' sweetpotato vine cuttings spaced 25 cm apart in each of 18 rectangular growing channels (0.15 by 0.15 by 1.2m) in a system designed to use the nutrient film technique (NFT). Each channel contained four plants. The 3.5m by 5.2m plant growth chamber environmental parameters included an 18h photoperiod, 500 micromoles m-2 s-1 of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and a diurnal light/dark temperature of 28 degrees C/22 degrees C. The relative humidity was 80 +/- 5% and the CO2 partial pressure was ambient (350 ppm). The nutrient solution contained in 30L reservoirs was a modified half Hoagland's solution with a 1:2.4 N:K ratio and a pH of 6.2. Solution replenishment occurred when the electrical conductivity (EC) level dropped below 1050. Plants were harvested at 15 days after planting (DAP) and weekly thereafter until day 134. By 57 DAP, stems and fibrous roots had acquired 90% of their total dry biomass, while leaves had reached 84% of their maximum dry biomass. Beginning at 64 DAP dry biomass accumulation in the storage roots dominated the increase in dry biomass for the plants. Dry weight of storage roots at 120 DAP was 165 g/plant or 1.1 kg/m2. Resulting growth curves were consistent with the physiological processes occurring in the plant. Results from this study will be incorporated in a plant growth model for use in conjunction with controlled life support systems for long-term manned space missions.
Space missions of extended duration are currently hampered by the prohibitive costs of external resupply. To reduce the need for resupply, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently testing methods to recycle solid wastes, water, and air. Composting can be an integral part of a biologically based waste treatment/recycling system. Results indicate that leachate from composted plant wastes is not inhibitory to seed germination and contains sufficient inorganic minerals to support plant growth. Other solid wastes, for example kitchen (food) wastes and human solid wastes, can be composted with inedible plant residues to safely reduce the volume of the wastes and levels of microorganisms potentially pathogenic to humans. Finished compost could serve as a medium for plant growth or mushroom production.
It is known that chlorophyll has the second distinct absorption peak in the vicinity of 450nm (blue light region) other than the first peak in the vicinity of 660nm (red light region) in its light absorption spectrum The blue light is also indispensable to the morphologically healthy growth plant. On the other hand, the red light contributes to the plant photosynthesis. Noticing this facts, we have developed various kind of plant growth apparatus using many pieces of blue light LED and red light LED with emission wavelength 450nm and 660nm as artificial light source. In this paper, we introduce our LED plant growth apparatus and systems named such as LED PACK, BIOLED, UNIPACK, and COMPACK with respect to their structure, function, electrical design, and characteristics.
A plant growth chamber equipped with a machine vision (MV) system was developed for the continuous, non-contact sampling and near-real-time evaluation of the top projected leaf area (TPLA) of lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Ostinata) seedlings. A rotary table enabled automatic, individual presentation of the lettuce plants to the imaging system. Hourly measurements were continuously made for 16 plants from the first true leaf stage through 30 days from seeding. A near-infrared radiation source illuminated the plants during the dark period, permitting measurements without interrupting the 12 hour photoperiod. Daily minimum hourly change of TPLA for the plants occurred from 3 to 4 hours after the start of the light period. Most rapid increase in TPLA occurred from 4 to 5 hours after the onset of the dark period. The machine vision system was capable of determining a plant physiological response to the nutrient stress within 24 hours of the change of the nutrient regime.
Recycling waste products during orbital (e.g., International Space Station) and planetary missions (e.g., lunar base, Mars transit mission, Martian base) will reduce storage and resupply costs. Wastes streams on the space station will include human hygiene water, urine, faeces, and trash. Longer term missions will contain human waste and inedible plant material from plant growth systems used for atmospheric regeneration, food production, and water recycling. The feasibility of biological and physical-chemical waste recycling is being investigated as part of National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Advanced Life Support (ALS) Program. In-vessel composting has lower manpower requirements, lower water and volume requirements, and greater potential for sanitization of human waste compared to alternative bioreactor designs such as continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR). Residual solids from the process (i.e. compost) could be used a biological air filter, a plant nutrient source, and a carbon sink. Potential in-vessel composting designs for both near- and long-term space missions are presented and discussed with respect to the unique aspects of space-based systems.
To clarify the possibility of plant production under red and blue monochrome light using light emitting diodes (LEDs), the effects of light quality and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on the growth and morphogenesis of lettuce plants were examined. Lettuce plants were hydroponically grown for 20 days, under 3 different light qualities (Red, Blue and Red/Blue) and 2 PPF levels (about 85 and 170 micromoles/m2/s) for a l6hr day and an 8hr night cycle, at a temperature range of 20 to 22 degrees C. Irrespective of the two different PPF levels, the plants grown under the red LEDs developed more leaves than the plants under the blue LEDs, but less leaves than the plants under blue/red light. The curvature rate of the leaf margin in the plants grown under the blue LEDs was less than that of the plants under red LEDs on both PPF levels. The inclination angle of the seventh leaf in the plants grown under the blue LEDs and the blue/red fluorescence lamps was greater than that of the plants under red LEDs on the high PPF level. The whole plant dry weight was greater in the plants grown under the high PPF level than the plants under a low PPF level.
The superimposed pattern of "luminescence spectrum of blue light emitting diode (LED)" and "that of red LED", corresponds well to light absorption spectrum of chlorophyll. If these two kinds of LED are used as a light source, various plant cultivation experiments are possible. The cultivation experiments which use such light sources are becoming increasingly active, and in such experiments, it is very important to know the distribution of the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) which exerts an important influence on photosynthesis. Therefore, we have developed a computer simulation system which can visualize the PPF distribution under a light source equipped with blue and red LEDs. In this system, an LED is assumed to be a point light source, and only the photons which are emitted directly from LED are considered. This simulation system can display a perspective view of the PPF distribution, a transverse and a longitudinal section of the distribution, and a contour map of the distribution. Moreover, a contour map of the ratio of the value of the PPF emitted by blue LEDs to that by blue and red LEDs can be displayed. As the representation is achieved by colored lines according to the magnitudes of the PPF in our system, a user can understand and evaluate the state of the PPF well.
A layered canopy model was used to analyze the effects of diffuse light on canopy gross photosynthesis in controlled environment plant growth chambers, where, in contrast to the field, highly diffuse light can occur at high irradiance. The model suggests that high diffuse light fractions (approximately 0.7) and irradiance (1400 micromoles m-2 s-1) may enhance crop life-cycle canopy gross photosynthesis for hydroponic wheat by about 20% compared to direct light at the same irradiance. Our simulations suggest that high accuracy is not needed in specifying diffuse light fractions in chambers between approximately 0.7 and 1, because simulated photosynthesis for closed canopies plateau in this range. We also examined the effect of leaf angle distribution on canopy photosynthesis under growth chamber conditions, as these distributions determine canopy extinction coefficients for direct and diffuse light. We show that the spherical leaf angle distribution is not suitable for modeling photosynthesis of planophile canopies (e.g., soybean and peanut) in growth chambers. Also, the absorption of the light reflected from the surface below the canopy should generally be included in model simulations, as the corresponding albedo values in the photosynthetically active range may be quite high in growth chambers (e.g., approximately 0.5). In addition to the modeling implications, our results suggest that diffuse light conditions should be considered when drawing conclusions from experiments in controlled environments.
In order to estimate the effects of "global warming" on plants, the effects of carbon dioxide concentration (500 ppm or 1000 ppm CO2) and/or relative humidity (37% or 79% RH) on the growth and the transpiration of several C3 plants and a C4 plant (corn) were investigated by using artificially-lighted growth cabinets. The dry weight growths of all species, especially C3 plants, were accelerated by an elevated concentration of CO2, but were reduced, especially tomato and eggplant, by lowering RH. The leaf area growths of tomato and eggplant were accelerated by a high CO2, while those of all species were reduced by a low RH. A high CO2 increased net assimilation rates (NARs) more than relative growth rates (RGRs) of all species. It decreased leaf area ratio (LAR) due to a decrease in specific leaf area (SLA). A low RH decreased RGRs of all plants. while it affected NARs or LARs of some species. The partitioning of dry matter was insignificantly affected by CO2 or RH. Effects of CO2 on the transpiration rate were not observed clearly with C3 species, though a high CO2 decreased the transpiration of corn obviously. A low RH increased the transpiration rates of all species. From these results, the water use efficiencies of many plants, especially corn were kept at a high level by a high CO2 with a high RH condition. The interactive effects between CO2 and RH on the growth and the transpiration were insignificantly observed in these plants.
The response of 'TI-155' and 'Georgia Jet' sweetpotato cultivars to elevated CO2 concentrations of 400 (ambient), 750 and 1000 micromoles mol-1 were evaluated under controlled environment conditions using the nutrient film technique (NFT). Growth chamber conditions included photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 600 micromoles m-2 s-1, 14/10 light/dark period, and 70% +/- 5% RH. Plants were grown using a modified half-Hoagland nutrient solution with a pH range of 5.5-6.0 and an electrical conductivity of 0.12 S m-1. Gas exchange measurements were made using infrared gas analysis, an open-flow gas exchange system, and a controlled-climate cuvette. Photosynthetic (Pn) measurements were made at CO2 ranges of 50 to 1000 micromoles mol-1. Storage root yield/plant increased with CO2 up to 750 but declined at 1000 micromoles mol-1. Storage root dry matter (DM) and foliage dry weight increased with increasing CO2. Harvest index (HI) for both cultivars was highest at 750 micromoles mol-1. The PPF vs Pn curves were typical for C3 plants with saturation occurring at approximately 600 micromoles m-2 s-1. CO2 concentration did not significantly influence net Pn, transpiration, water-use-efficiency (WUE), and stomatal conductance. As measurement CO2 concentration increased, net Pn and WUE increased while transpiration and stomatal conductance decreased.
We have demonstrated that 0.45% quercetin added to a diet containing corn oil (15% w/w), as the lipid source, and cellulose (6% w/w), as the fiber source, was able to suppress the formation of high multiplicity aberrant crypt foci (ACF > 4 AC/focus), to lower proliferation and enhance apoptosis in a rat model of colon cancer. This experiment determined whether quercetin was acting as an antiinflammatory molecule in an in vivo model of colon cancer. We used weanling (21 d old) Sprague Dawley rats (n = 40) in a 2×2 factorial experiment to determine the influence of quercetin on iNOS, COX-1 and COX-2 expressions, all of which are elevated in colon cancer. Half of the rats received a diet containing either 0 or 0.45% quercetin, and within each diet group, half of the rats were injected with saline or azoxymethane (AOM, 15 mg/kg BW, sc, 2× during wk 3 and 4). The colon was resected 4 wk after the last AOM injection, and the mucosa scraped and processed for RNA isolation. Data from this experiment were analyzed using a mixed model in SAS for main effects and their interaction. AOM injection stimulated (P < 0.0001) iNOS expression. However there was an interaction such that, relative to rats injected with saline, AOM-injected rats consuming diets without quercetin had significantly elevated iNOS expression (5.29-fold), but the expression in AOM-injected rats consuming the diet with quercetin was not significantly elevated (1.68-fold). COX-1 expression was 20.2% lower (P < 0.06) in rats consuming diets containing quercetin. COX-2 expression was 24.3% higher (P < 0.058) in rats consuming diets without quercetin. These data suggest inflammatory processes are elevated in this early stage of colon carcinogenesis, yet quercetin may protect against colon carcinogenesis by down-regulating the expressions of COX-1 and COX-2.
A new dynamic control of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) was tested using lettuce canopies growing in the Minitron II plant-growth/canopy gas-exchange system. Canopy photosynthetic rates (Pn) were measured in real time and fedback for further environment control. Pn can be manipulated by changing PPF, which is a good environmental parameter for dynamic control of crop production in a Controlled Ecological Life-Support Systems CELSS. Decision making that combines empirical mathematical models with rule sets developed from recent experimental data was tested. With comparable yield indices and potential for energy savings, dynamic control strategies will contribute greatly to the sustainability of space-deployed CELSS.
The present Spacetron is used to cultivate plants over a long term by controlling environment condition. The cultivation drum was rotated in perpendicular direction creating fluctuation in gravity. Centrifugal force plus 1 G ground gravity, are distributed unevenly over the cultivation drum. This fluctuation effect on plant growth was not clear. In the modified Spacetron the cultivation drum rotates horizontally whereas the plant stage rotated in the perpendicular direction. To find the basic information for design of centrifugal phytotron the two axes Spacetron Junior (clinostat) was developed to formulate the micro and hypergravity environment. It would be used to study the effect on a plant growth process of different gravity conditions. In order to produce the different values of gravity, the clinostat's axis was rotated with a stepping motor at different angular velocity. The axis rotated at 5.2 revolutions per minute (rpm) to create a centrifugal force equivalent to 0.01 G and the plant stage was rotated at 5.2 rpm. The chlorophyll value is higher in the plants under microgravity condition of 0.01 G whereas the fresh weight and dry weight are higher in the plants under control condition of 1 G earth gravity. The result of this study showed that the plant growth was affected by microgravity along with other known factors such as vibration and unknown factors.
To obtain the basic data of gas exchange of rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Nipponbare), rates of ethylene release, photosynthesis and transpiration of the rice plant were measured by using a closed-type chamber. Each rate increased until the heading stage and thereafter decreased. Ethylene release rate (E) gradually increased with day after seeding and rates of photosynthesis (P) and transpiration (T) did exponentially. At the heading stage, E, P and T were maximum and had values of about 2.0 mmol plant-1 h-1, 3.0 mmol plant-1 h-1 and 0.60 mol plant-1 h-1, respectively. E in the light period was 1.5-3 times as much as that in the dark period, whereas T in the light period was 5-6 times as much as that in the dark period. E of rice per plant was lower than those of lettuce and Brassica genera which were reported previously. Especially, the rate of rice was about one-tenth that of lettuce. However, when ethylene release rates were estimated on a growth area basis, the rate of rice was about half that of lettuce, and was more than those of Brassica genera.
CO2 and water vapor fluxes of hydroponically grown wheat and soybean canopies were measured continuously in several environments with an open gas exchange system. Canopy CO2 fluxes reflect the photosynthetic efficiency of a plant community, and provide a record of plant growth and health. There were significant diurnal fluctuations in root and shoot CO2 fluxes, and in shoot water vapor fluxes. Canopy stomatal conductance (Gc) to water vapor was calculated from simultaneous measurements of canopy temperature (Tcan) and transpiration rates (Tr). Tr in the dark was substantial, and there were large diurnal fluctuations in both Gc and Tr. Canopy net Photosynthesis (Pnet), Tr, and Gc increased with increasing net radiation. Gc increased with Tr, suggesting that the stomata of plants in controlled environments (CEs) behave differently from field-grown plants. A transpiration model based on measurements of Gc was developed for CEs. The model accurately predicted Tr from a soybean canopy.
A computer program was developed to study multiple crop production and control in controlled environment plant production systems. The program simulates crop growth and development under nominal and off-nominal environments. Time-series crop models for wheat (Triticum aestivum), soybean (Glycine max), and white potato (Solanum tuberosum) are integrated with a model-based predictive controller. The controller evaluates and compensates for effects of environmental disturbances on crop production scheduling. The crop models consist of a set of nonlinear polynomial equations, six for each crop, developed using multivariate polynomial regression (MPR). Simulated data from DSSAT crop models, previously modified for crop production in controlled environments with hydroponics under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, were used for the MPR fitting. The model-based predictive controller adjusts light intensity, air temperature, and carbon dioxide concentration set points in response to environmental perturbations. Control signals are determined from minimization of a cost function, which is based on the weighted control effort and squared-error between the system response and desired reference signal.
A more basic understanding of the microbial dynamics of closed, hydroponic cultivation systems is needed. We therefore initiated a study of the microbial community inhabiting the root environment, using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles, and started to examine whether changes in the microbial population structure would result from the introduction of selected isolates of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Tomato were cultured in deep-flow systems with circulating nutrient solution. Bacteria were sampled from tomato roots at three locations, longitudinally, in the gutters of a control system and in two systems inoculated with PGPR. In the beginning of the gutters the PLFA profiles were similar in all systems, whereas the profiles differed in the gutter ends (following the direction of flow). In the control system, and in a treatment inoculated with two Gram-negative and one Gram-positive PGPR strain, the relative proportion of PLFAs characteristic to Gram-positive bacteria was highest at the end of the gutter. In a treatment inoculated only with a Gram-negative PGPR strain, the relative proportion of PLFAs characteristic of Gram-negative bacteria was highest at the end of the gutter. The results indicate a complex situation with different micro-environments distributed along the root mat. It can also be concluded that PLFA profiles may be useful tools in the study of the microbiology of closed hydroponic plant cultivation systems.
Potato plantlets (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Benimaru) were cultured in vitro for 20 days on a 10 ml MS agar medium under a magnetic flux density of 0 (control: Cont), 2, 4 or 6 mT (T=Wb m-2) in both upward and downward directions of magnetic field. Air temperature in the head space of the test tubes and photosynthetic flux density on the culture shelf were 25 +/- 1 degrees C and 38 micromoles m-2 s-1 respectively. The results showed that a magnetic flux density of around 4 mT had beneficial effects, regardless of the direction of magnetic field, on the growth promotion and enhancement of CO2 uptake of potato plantlets in vitro The direction of magnetic field at the magnetic flux densities tested had no effects on the growth and CO2 exchange rate.
The optimum management of nutrient solution in soilless culture needs the accurate control of nutrient solution, especially in recycled soilless culture system. To keep the electrical conductivity (EC) of nutrient solution within the adequate range after application of combined fertilizers, theoretically derived EC prediction methods are required. In this study, the experimental EC prediction equation, an extended form of the Robinson and Stroke's theoretical equation only available for a binary electrolyte, was developed for predicting the EC of the nutrient solution containing many kinds of inorganic compounds. And the multilayer perceptron consisting of three layers with the back propagation learning algorithm was developed for EC prediction. It consists of nine variables in the input layer for the concentrations of seven macro elements, Na+ and Cl, and one variable in the output layer for the EC of nutrient solution. The predicted ECs by experimental model as well as neural networks for the nutrient solution were compared to the measured ones and showed good agreements.
Providing a controlled environment for growth of plants in a space environment involves development of unique technologies for the various subsystems of the plant growing facility. These subsystems must be capable of providing the desired environmental control within the operational constraints of currently available space vehicles, primarily the US Space Shuttle or the Russian Space Station, MIR. These constraints include available electrical power, limited total payload mass, and limited volume of the payload. In addition, the space hardware must meet safety requirements for a man-rated space vehicle. The ASTROCULTURE (TM) space-based plant growth unit provides control of temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration of the plant chamber air. A light emitting diode (LED) unit provides red and blue photons with a total intensity adjustable from 0 to 500 micromoles m-2 s-1. Ethylene released by the plant material is removed with a non-consumable ethylene removable unit. A porous tube and rooting matrix subsystem is used to supply water and nutrients to the plants. The ASTROCULTURE(TM) flight unit is sized to be accommodated in a single middeck locker of the US Space Shuttle, the SPACEHAB module, and with slight modification in the SPACELAB module. The environmental control capabilities of the subsystems used in the ASTROCULTURE(TM) flight unit have been validated in a microgravity environment during five US Space Shuttle missions, including two with plants. The unique environmental control technologies developed for the space-based plant growth facility can be used to enhance the environmental control capabilities of terrestrial controlled environment plant chambers.
Sweetpotato is one of several crops recommended by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for bioregenerative life support studies. One of the objectives of the Tuskegee University NASA Center is to optimize growth conditions for adaptability of sweetpotatoes for closed bioregenerative systems. The role of nutrient solution management as it impacts yield has been one of the major thrusts in these studies. Nutrient solution management protocol currently used consists of a modified half Hoagland solution that is changed at 14-day intervals. Reservoirs are refilled with deionized water if the volume of the nutrient solution was reduced to 8 liters or less before the time of solution change. There is the need to recycle and replenish nutrient solution during crop growth, rather than discard at 14 day intervals as previously done, in order to reduce waste. Experiments were conducted in an environmental growth room to examine the effects of container size on the growth of several sweetpotato genotypes grown under a nutrient replenishment protocol. Plants were grown from vine cuttings of 15cm length and were planted in 0.15 x 0.15 x 1.2m growth channels using a closed nutrient film technique system. Nutrient was supplied in a modified half strength Hoagland's solution with a 1:2.4 N:K ratio. Nutrient replenishment protocol consisted of daily water replenishment to a constant volume of 30.4 liters in the small containers and 273.6 liters in the large container. Nutrients were replenished as needed when the EC of the nutrient solution fell below 1200 mhos/cm. The experimental design used was a split-plot with the main plot being container size and genotypes as the subplot. Nine sweetpotato genotypes were evaluated. Results showed no effect of nutrient solution container size on storage root yield, foliage fresh and dry mass, leaf area or vine length. However, plants grown using the large nutrient solution container accumulated more storage root dry mass than those with the small containers. Although plants grown with the smaller containers showed greater water uptake, plant nutrient uptake was lower than with the larger container. All genotypes evaluated showed variation in their responses to all parameters measured.
The heat transfer characteristics of a hydroponic system were experimentally verified after theoretical establishment and the effect of nutrient solution cooling on the plant temperature was investigated. About 96 percent of the total heat flow transferred from culture bed to nutrient solution was the conductive heat through planting board and partitioning materials. The average and maximum temperatures of the leaf lettuce decreased 0.6 and 1.5 degrees C., respectively, with cooling of nutrient solution by 6 degrees C. A numerical model for prediction of cooling load of nutrient solution in a hydroponic greenhouse was developed, and the results from the simulation model showed a good agreement with those from experiments. A mechanical cooling system using the counter flow type with double pipes was developed for cooling the nutrient solution. Also the heat transfer characteristics of the system were analyzed experimentally and theoretically, and compared with the other existing cooling systems of nutrient solution. The cooling capacities of three different systems, which used polyethylene tube in solution tank, stainless tube in solution tank, and the counter flow type with double pipes, were comparatively evaluated.