Effects of Rooting Volume Restriction on the Growth and Carbohydrate Concentration in Tomato Plants

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Faculty of Agriculture, Yamagata University, Tsuruoaka, Yamagata, 997-8555 Japan

Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill `Ougata-fukuju' and `Korokoro') were grown in a soil or a hydroponic culture to study effects of rooting volume restriction on plant growth and carbohydrate concentrations. In soil culture, leaf lengths decreased linearly as container volume decreased, while plant height did not decrease linearly, irrespective of fruiting. The root to shoot ratio decreased in smaller volume containers, irrespective of fruiting, because dry mass accumulation in the stem and leaves was relatively less inhibited than that in the roots. Total plant dry mass did not differ between fruiting and deblossomed plants, irrespective of container volume. In hydroponic culture, plant height in small containers (37 cm3) was similar to that in large containers (2024 or 4818 cm3). The root to shoot ratio of the plants grown in small containers was lower than that of the plants grown in large containers, mainly due to less inhibition of the dry mass accumulation in the stem than in the leaves. When small containers were almost filled with roots (28 days after transplanting), soluble sugar and starch concentrations in leaves became ≈2-fold higher in the plants grown in small than in those grown in large containers. At the end of experiment (42 days after transplanting), sucrose and starch concentrations in the stem were higher in plants grown in small than in those grown in large containers. However, soluble sugar and starch concentrations in the leaves did not differ between treatments.

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