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  • Author or Editor: Harry Janes x
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Abstract

The temperature of the root zone can influence tomato growth (3) and yield (1). This probably occurs by altering root sink strength, which, in turn, influences photosynthesis by affecting the RuBP carboxylase activation state (2). Our data further indicated that within certain limits of air temperature (17°–25°C) the optimal root zone temperature for seedling growth is between 27° and 32° (3, 7). However, prolonged growth at 29° resulted in reduced yield (1).

Open Access

A qualitative systems approach to controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is presented by means of several multi-institutional projects integrated into a demonstration greenhouse at the Burlington County Resource Recovery Complex (BCRRC), N.J. The greenhouse has about 0.4 ha of production space, and is located about 800 m from the about 40-ha BCRRC landfill site. A portion of the landfill gas produced from the BCRRC site is used for microturbine electricity generation and for heating the greenhouse. The waste heat from the turbines, which are roughly 15 m from the greenhouse, is used as the main heat source for the greenhouse in the winter months, and to desalinate water when heating is not required. Recovery of this waste heat increases the energy efficiency of the four 30-kW turbines from about 25% to 75%. Within the greenhouse, aquaculture and hydroponic crop production are coupled by recycling the aquaculture effluent as a nutrient source for the plants. Both the sludge resulting from the filtered effluent and the inedible biomass from harvested plants are vermicomposted (i.e., rather than being sent to the landfill), resulting in marketable products such as soil amendments and liquid plant fertilizer. If suitably cleaned of contaminants, the CO2 from the landfill gas may be used to enrich the plant growing area within the greenhouse to increase the yield of the edible products. Landfill gas from the BCRRC site has successfully been processed to recover liquid commercial grade CO2 and contaminant-free methane-CO2, with the potential for this gas mixture to be applied as a feedstock for fuel cells or for methanol production. Carbon dioxide from the turbine exhaust may also be recovered for greenhouse enrichment. Alternatively, algal culture may be used to assimilate CO2 from the turbine exhaust into biomass, which may then be used as a biofuel, or possibly as fish feed, thus making the system more self-contained. By recycling energy and materials, the system described would displace fossil fuel use, mitigating negative environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, and generate less waste in need of disposal. Successful implementation of the coupled landfill (gas-to-energy · aquaponic · desalination) system would particularly benefit developing regions, such as those of the Greater Caribbean Basin.

Free access

Growing tomato fruits in tissue culture, using ovaries, could be used as a model system to study fruit development and sink strength/activity. Producing a “normal and healthy” fruit is essential in developing this system. Many factors affect the growth and development of the fruit. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the age of the ovary (i.e., the number of days after pollination) on growth and final fruit size. The results indicate that the fruit size, root development, and uniformity in growth of the fruit were affected by the initial age of the ovary. The older the ovary, the greater was the final fruit size and uniformity. The development of root mass was not affected by the age of the ovary until 7 days of pollination. However, root development was suppressed in ovaries that were of 9 days after pollination. The fruits from younger ovaries were more irregular in shape. All the fruits from ovaries harvested at 9 days after pollination were more uniform and round as compared to other treatments.

Free access

The effect of root mass on tomato fruit size in tissue culture was studied. The root mass of the ovaries was changed either by growing in culture media containing different concentrations of NAA (α– napthaleneacetic acid) or by culturing the ovaries with and without sepals. The root mass increased with a decrease in NAA concentration from 10.0 to 2.5 μM and the ovaries with sepals developed more roots. The tomato fruit size was affected by the root mass. The greater the root mass, the larger was the fruit size. However, the larger fruit size from ovaries cultured with sepals could be attributed either to the presence of more roots (greater absorption of sucrose) or to the sepal (additional carbon fixation by photosynthesis), or to both the sepals and more roots. Moreover, it is possible that the presence of sepals induce root development. These results indicate that the presence of sepals and total root mass are two important factors that influence the fruit size in vitro.

Free access

A mixture of C8/C10 fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) when applied directly and exclusively to leaf axils of greenhouse-grown tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) significantly inhibited side shoot development. Plants grown in a single cluster production system in winter produced 8.9 side shoots/plant, whereas those treated with C8/C10 FAME 45 days after sowing, produced only 0.7 side shoots/plant. Total pruning weight of the side shoots was reduced from 40.2 g/plant to 1.3 g/plant. Fruit yield increased 14% with C8/C10 FAME treatment and there was an increase in the harvest index from 0.63 to 0.70. For a spring crop, in which average daily irradiance was more than twice that in winter, overall yield increased 70% when compared to the winter crop. As in winter, side shoot number and side shoot weight/plant were significantly reduced by C8/C10 FAME, but there was no difference in crop yield between C8/C10 FAME and untreated plants. In both winter and spring, untreated plants required hand pruning three times during the production period, whereas C8/C10 FAME-treated plants were pruned only once at the time of application. A C8/C10 free fatty acid (FA) mixture was also applied to one and two-cluster plants with similar results. In the multiple cluster system, application of the C8/C10 FA mixture instead of side shoot pruning reduced plant height and increased yield from 6.4 to 7.4 kg/plant. C8/C10 FA or C8/C10 FAME treatment could be a useful labor saving strategy in greenhouse tomato production and may increase crop yield under conditions in which assimilates may be limited by environmental factors, or as a result of a high level of competition from other fruits or shoots.

Free access

Rockwool is an excellent growing medium for the hydroponic production of tomato; however, the standard size rockwool blocks [4 × 4 × 2.5 inches (10 × 10 × 6.3 cm) or 3 × 3 × 2.5 inches (7.5 × 7.5 × 6.3 cm)] are expensive. The following experiments were conducted with less expensive minirock wool blocks (MRBs), on rayon polyester material (RPM) as a bench top liner, to reduce the production cost of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) grown in a limited-cluster, ebb and flood hydroponic cultivation system. Fruit yield for single-cluster plants growing in MRBs [2 × 2 × 1.6 inches (5 × 5 × 4 cm) and 1.6 × 1.6 × 1.6 inches (4 × 4 × 4 cm)] was not significantly different from plants grown in larger sized blocks (3 × 3 × 2.5 inches). When the bench top was lined with RPM, roots penetrated the RPM, and an extensive root mat developed between the RPM and the bench top. The fruit yield from plants on RPM was significantly increased compared to plants without RPM due to increases in fruit size and fruit number. RPM also significantly reduced the incidence of blossom-end rot. In a second experiment, single- and double-cluster plants were grown on RPM. Fruit yield for double-cluster plants was 40% greater than for single-cluster plants due to an increase in fruit number, although the fruit were smaller in size. As in the first experiment, fruit yield for all plants grown in MRBs was not significantly different from plants grown in the larger sized blocks. MRBs and a RPM bench liner are an effective combination in the production of limited-cluster hydroponic tomatoes.

Full access

Abstract

Cyanide-resistant respiration in carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) petal tissue increased daily until 3 days after flowers were harvested. Mitochondria from petals exhibited only cyanide-resistant respiration when malate and pyruvate were provided as substrate. Although intact petals from freshly harvested flowers exhibited little cyanide-resistant respiration, mitochondria isolated from them were highly cyanide-resistant in their respiration if malate and pyruvate were provided as substrate. Pyruvate, in mitochondria, was capable of releasing mitochondria inhibited by cyanide in the presence of malate. Pentose-phosphate pathway activity was significant throughout the postharvest period, but was maximum 5 days after flowers were harvested. The gas exchange quotient (GEQ) was 1 for the first 3 days after harvest, declining on days 4 and 5 and dramatically increasing on day 6 as a result of a climacteric increase in CO2 evolution accompanying flower wilting.

Open Access

Limited-cluster production systems may be a useful strategy to increase crop production and profitability for the greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). In this study, using an ebb-and-flood hydroponics system, we modified plant architecture and spacing and determined the effects on fruit yield and harvest index at two light levels. Single-cluster plants pruned to allow two leaves above the cluster had 25% higher fruit yields than did plants pruned directly above the cluster; this was due to an increase in fruit weight, not fruit number. Both fruit yield and harvest index were greater for all single-cluster plants at the higher light level because of increases in both fruit weight and fruit number. Fruit yield for two-cluster plants was 30% to 40% higher than for singlecluster plants, and there was little difference in the dates or length of the harvest period. Fruit yield for three-cluster plants was not significantly different from that of two-cluster plants; moreover, the harvest period was delayed by 5 days. Plant density (5.5, 7.4, 9.2 plants/m2) affected fruit yield/plant, but not fruit yield/unit area. Given the higher costs for materials and labor associated with higher plant densities, a two-cluster crop at 5.5 plants/m2 with two leaves above the cluster was the best of the production system strategies tested.

Free access

Ethephon (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) was applied to single cluster greenhouse tomato crops (1000 ppm) at the green mature stage of fruit development or when 35% of the plants had fruits at the breaker stage. Fruits were harvested at the pink stage. Untreated fruit were harvested from 95 to 116 days after sowing whereas fruit from the green mature ethephon treatment were harvested from 92 to 102 days, three days earlier and with a reduction in the harvest window from 22 to 11 days. Fruit treated with ethephon at 35% breaker were harvested at the same time as untreated fruit, but harvest was completed after only 12 days. Fruit yield from the green mature ethephon treatment was reduced by about 30%, but there was no significant difference in fruit yield as a result of ethephon treatment at 35% breaker. Fruit color, firmness and soluble solids were evaluated one and six days after harvest. Fruit firmness and soluble solids were unaffected by treatment; however, fruit from the ethephon treatments were significantly redder in color. In a second experiment, ethephon was applied at 500 or 1000 ppm when 100% of the plants had fruit at the breaker stage. Fruit were harvested over a 7-day time interval compared to untreated fruit that were harvested over 14 days, and there was a small but significant increase in fruit yield for the 1000 ppm treatment. Both ethephon treatments also increased fruit soluble solids. For limited cluster tomato production systems, ethephon is effective in reducing the harvest window without loss in postharvest fruit quality.

Free access

Abstract

The accuracy of a computer planning model for the management of a single-truss tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) production system was tested in the greenhouse. The model was used to generate a production schedule for 24 successive crops during a 15-month study. The time, in days, required for an emerging seedling to reach anthesis and the total fresh weight fruit yield were predicted for each of the 24 crops by the planning model. Correlation analysis, used to compare the expected crop response (i.e., data generated by the planning model) to the actual crop response, indicated that both the number of days from emergence to anthesis and fresh weight fruit yield were accurately forecast, r 2 = 0.76 and 0.83, respectively. More important, the cropping schedule that was generated by the planning model successfully produced a continuous harvest of tomatoes from sequential crops.

Open Access