Tissue Nutrient Content Dynamics of Wheat and Potato Grown under Highly Productive Field and Hydroponic Conditions

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  • 1 1UCLA/DOE Lab., Los Angeles, CA 90024
  • 2 2Dynamac Corp., Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899.
  • 3 3NASA Biomedical Operations and Research, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899.

Tissue nutrient (element) content profiles were determined for wheat and potato plants grown hydroponically (NFT) in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber (20 m2) using a complete nutrient solution with electrical conductivity maintained at 0.12 S·m–1. Profiles were compared to patterns of nutrient accumulation during vegetative stages reported for highly productive wheat and potatoes grown in the field under a wide range of conditions. Among the essential elements, differences between the hydroponically and field-grown crops were observed only for Ca, Mg, and Mn in the recently mature leaves, and these differences were related to changes in growth phase and/or consistency of nutrient supply during plant growth. Nutrient profiles for both hydroponically and field-grown crops were also compared to deficiency and toxicity critical levels compiled by various workers. As expected for high-yielding crops, the profiles for both crops were well within the sufficiency ranges for all evaluated nutrients.

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