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Kyung-Hwan Yeo*, Jung-Min Son and Yong-Beom Lee

The plant factory to control growing system automatically is necessary to cultivate single-node cutting rose, which produce large numbers of uniform shoots per unit area in short cultivation. However, the recirculation of the nutrient solution in closed system leads to several problems. One of them is connected with the quality of nutrient solution and the supply of minerals. The uptake of specific nutrients depends on growth and development, or plant stage, which results in a shift in ionic ratio in the drainage water compared to the nutrient solution supplied. Consequently, the nutrient supply should be controlled to be equal to the demand of the plant to avoid disorder of nutrient solution, such as depletion or accumulation. Therefore this study was conducted to examine the effect of mineral nutritional control on nutrient uptake of single-node cutting rose `Red velvet' and `Vital' in a plant factory. The nutritional control of nutrient solution was conducted by five methods: the control of electrical conductivity (EC), N, P, and K elements (NPK), macro elements (M), macro and micro elements (MM) to target ranges in root zone, and the supplement of nutrient solution (S). In NPK, M, and MM control system, the input of nutrients was calculated as amounts of absorption by the plants compared to target values in root environment. The fertilizer supplement of N, P, and K was lower in EC control system than other control systems. In EC and S control system, the concentration of NO3 - -N and K in root zone exceed optimal range whereas P, Ca, and Mg decreased at the later stage of growth. The concentrations of each nutrient in root environment were kept at the target ranges in M and MM control system, which showed optimum yield and product quality.

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Kyung-Hwan Yeo*, Jung-Min Son and Yong-Beom Lee

Plant factory is a new plant production system that enables high quality, year-round, and planned production by controlling the environment. However, the recirculation of the nutrient solution leads to several problems because of unstable condition by nutrient uptake. The concentrations of nutrients in the recirculating solution should be kept at the required levels, since an optimum nutrition is determined by the specific concentrations of an element and mutual ratio to other nutrients in the root zone. Consequently, the nutrient solution is required adjustments based on regular analysis of the drain water and relationships among nutrient uptake, growth stage, and environmental factors for plant quality. This study was conducted to examine the effect of mineral nutritional control by five different methods on growth and photosynthesis of single-stemmed rose `Red velvet' and `Vital' in a plant factory. The nutritional control of nutrient solution was as following: the control of electrical conductivity (EC), N, P, and K elements (NPK), macro elements (M), macro and micro elements (MM) to target ranges in root environment, and the supplement of nutrient solution (S). The growth of single-node cutting rose `Vital' and `Red velvet' was higher in the M and MM than that of other control systems. Although M and MM system showed no significant difference, the photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate were higher than those with other systems. The maximal efficiency of photochemistry (Fv/Fm) was higher in the M and MM control system, which showed the highest root activity. These results could be attributable for modelling the mineral nutritional control system, which reduces the use of fertilizers and increases the productivity of single-stemmed rose.

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Myung Min Oh, Young Yeol Cho, Kee Sung Kim and Jung Eek Son

To determine the adequate irrigation conditions in a nutrient-flow wick culture (NFW) system, the water contents of root media were analyzed with different wick lengths (2 and 3 cm), pot sizes (6-, 10-, and 15-cm diameter), and media compositions (mixtures of 5 peatmoss : 5 perlite and 7 peatmoss : 3 perlite). The growth of potted ‘New Alter’ kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) in the NFW system was also compared with that of plants grown in other irrigation systems, such as nutrient-stagnant wick culture and ebb-and-flow culture. All factors, such as wick length, pot size, and medium composition, influenced the water content of the medium in the NFW system. Pots that included more peatmoss with a shorter wick could easily take up the nutrient solution. The water content of the media increased by more than 8% and 5% in 2- and 3-cm wick lengths within 15 minutes respectively. The fluctuation of water content became greater with a decrease of pot size in the NFW system. Kalanchoe plants grew well in the NFW system with four irrigations for 15 min per day each. The dry weight and leaf area of the plants were higher in the NFW system (4×) and considerably lower in the NFW system with two irrigations for 15 min per day each. Therefore, more precise irrigation is required in the NFW system than in other systems.