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  • Author or Editor: Min-Jung Lee x
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The objective of this study was to examine how horticultural activities, such as pressing flowers, planting, creating flower arrangements, and making topiaries, affect stress relief for patients who are mentally challenged. Two experiments were conducted in this study. In Expt. 1, the heart rate variation (HRV) of 30 mentally challenged people from the Daegu Rehabilitation Center (Daegu, South Korea) was measured. The pressed flower group and the planting group showed a significant improvement (P < 0.01) in the sd of the normal–normal interval HRV measurements (SDNN), which improved from 42.37 to 45.54 ms. The planting group's SDNN and low frequency (LF) significantly improved from 38.68 to 45.49 ms and from 5.87 to 6.58 ms, respectively, at P < 0.05. A significant improvement in total power (TP) and high frequency (HF) at P < 0.01 was also observed; results changed from 6.90 to 7.46 ms and from 4.76 to 5.28 ms, respectively. The flower arrangement group displayed a significant difference in LF (from 5.26 to 5.89 ms) at P < 0.05. Finally, the topiary group showed a significant difference in TP (from 6.72 to 7.23 ms) at P < 0.05. In Expt. 2, the cortisol levels of 20 mentally challenged people from the P Residential Home (Yeongcheon, South Korea) were measured. Compared with the baseline measurement, the pressed flower group displayed a significant decrease in cortisol density from 4.66 nmol·L−1 on day 1 to 4.64 nmol·L−1 on day 7; however, no significant difference was observed on day 4. The planting group showed a significantly decreasing difference (3.08 nmol·L−1) in cortisol density (8.84 nmol·L−1) on day 7 compared with day 4 of planting activities. Finally, the topiary group continued to show a significant decrease (from 9.98 to 7.0 nmol·L−1) in cortisol density at each cortisol collection after the first day of topiary activities. It was concluded that indoor horticultural activities have an effect on mentally challenged people's stress relief. In particular, planting activities were effective for this relief.

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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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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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A series of experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of chlorocholine and similar compounds such as choline, chlorocholine chloride (CCC or chlormequat) and other compounds on the rooting and seedling quality for transplanting. The growth of shoot and root and the ratio of shoot/root were influenced and consequently the seedling quality was improved by chlorocholine treatment. Mungbean bioassays for plant hormone revealed that rooting was promoted and shoot growth or stem elongation was inhibited by the treatment. Addition of other PGRs such as atonik, vitamins and surfactants to chlorocholine solution significantly promoted the rooting of mungbean cuttings as well as the rooting of cutting of sweet potato, cucumber, and watermelon.

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