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  • Author or Editor: Harry Janes x
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Light/dark effects on growth and sugar accumulation in tomato fruit were studied on intact plants (in vivo) and in tissue culture (in vitro). Similar patterns of growth and sugar accumulation were found in vivo and in vitro. Fruit growth in different sugar sources (glucose, fructose or sucrose) showed that sucrose was the primary carbon source translocated into tomato fruit. Darkening the fruit decreased growth about 40% in vivo and in vitro: Light-grown fruit took up 30% more sucrose from the same source and accumulated almost twice as much starch as that in dark-grown fruit. The difference in CO2 exchange rate between light and dark indicated that light effects on fruit growth were due to mechanisms other than photosynthesis. Supporting this conclusion was the fact that light intensities ranging from 40 to 160 μmol/m2/s had no influence on growth and light did not increase growth when fruits were grown on glucose or fructose. A possible expansion of an additional sink for carbon by fight stimulation of starch synthesis during early development will be discussed.

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Abstract

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. cv. Annette Hegg Brilliant Diamond) were grown in separate greenhouses, one in which the night air temperature was maintained at 16.7°C and another where the air temperature was allowed to fall to 11.5°. The cool-air-treated plants were subjected to root-zone temperatures of 17°, 23°, 26°, and 29°. In general, the deleterious effects of cool air temperatures could be reversed by root-zone warming at 23°.

Open Access

With the increasing establishment of greenhouses in conjunction with resource recovery projects (i.e., producing electricity by burning a low cost fuel), greenhouse facilities have access to low cost heat and in many cases electricity as well. In this regard we have been studying the production of spinach with the use of supplemental light.

The goal of the research was to establish the relationship between light and productivity and to also investigate the effects of light on tissue nitrate levels. The data indicate that an average daily PPF of 13-14 moles will provide enough energy to maximize the plant's relative growth rate. It was also found that supplemental HPS light with a PPF of 90 μmoles/m2/sec given over a 12h period will increase the total light received by a plant in mid-winter by about 50% and lead to a 10% decrease in leaf nitrate level.

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It was proposed to study and develop a system for producing salad vegetables on a space station. To this end a `Salad Machine' was designed to act as a controlled environment growth chamber within which various plants will be grown on a continuous and predictable basis such that crew members will periodically have available the ingredients of a “normal” salad. Within this framework we studied the enclosed environment production of tomatoes.

Forty-five tomator cultivars were screened in a greenhouse and four were selected for further evaluation. The criteria for selection were total plant yield, fruit size, fruit quality and the total weight of the fruit on the main stem as compared to the axillary branches. The four selected cultivars were grown in an environmentally controlled chamber (`Salad Machine') at 6 plants/m (volume rather than area is important here). The data collected included: weekly plant height, total daily yield, water use and nutrient uptake.

The continuous production of tomatoes in a small volume using a selected cultivar will be discussed.

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Abstract

Respiration of petal discs from rose (Rosa hybrida L.) was measured by standard manometric techniques gave evidence for the presence of cyanide-resistant respiration. During early stages of rose petal expansion oxygen uptake by petal discs was only slightly inhibited by ImM KCN. In conjunction with 10−1mM salicyl hydroxamic Acid (SHAM), an inhibitor specific for the alternate cyanide-resistant pathway, 1mM KCN greatly reduced oxygen uptake in these petal discs. SHAM alone had no effect on petal disc respiration.

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.

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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.

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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