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  • Author or Editor: Jong-Seok Park x
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We investigated the effects of microbubbles, generated by a swivelling microbubble generator in hydroponics nutrient solution, on the growth of leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Twenty-four lettuce seedlings at the four- to five-leaf stage each were transplanted into two culture containers at 21 ± 1 °C (day) and 18 ± 1 °C (night) under fluorescent lamps that provided a photosynthetic photon flux of 173 ± 18 and 171 ± 16 μmol·m−2·s−1 averaged at eight points at the canopy level for micro- and macrobubbles conditions, respectively, during a photoperiod of 16 h per day. Seedlings were cultivated for 2 weeks in two deep flow technique (DFT) hydroponics culture systems in which micro- or macrobubbles were produced, respectively, by a microbubble aerator and aquarium aeration stones. The nutrient solution was maintained at a temperature of 22 ± 1 °C during the experiment. Fresh and dry weights of the microbubble-treated lettuce were 2.1 and 1.7 times larger, respectively, than those of the macrobubble-treated lettuce. Although the reasons for growth promotion by microbubbles are still under investigation, we speculate that the larger specific surface area of the microbubbles and negative electronic charges on the microbubbles surfaces may promote growth because microbubbles can attract positively charged ions that are dissolved in the nutrient solution. These results indicate that microbubbles generated in a DFT hydroponics culture system can remarkably promote plant growth.

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