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Takashi Ikeda, Kunio Okano, Yuka Sakamoto and Shin-ichi Watanabe

This study was undertaken to investigate the water relations of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit cracking for single-truss tomato plants. The tomato plants were cultured on a closed hydroponic system in greenhouse. Water status of culture solution and plant tissues was measured with psychrometers. Water potential of the culture solution for the stressed plant was changed from -0.06 MPa (control plants) to -0.36 MPa at 24 days after anthesis. Hardness of the fruit skin was not different significantly between the stressed plants and the control plants. Fruit cracking occurred frequently in the control plants, but not in the stressed plants. Water potential gradient between the tissue of fruit flesh and water source for the control plants was bigger than that of the stressed plants. Turgors were increased at the tissues of fruit flesh and fruit skin at the control plants between predawn and morning but not at the stressed plants. These results indicated that the water potential gradient and the increased turgor in these tissues might be a trigger for the occurrence of fruit cracking on single-truss tomato plants.

Open access

Ling Li, Takashi Watanabe, Atsuko Uragami, Hiroaki Kitazawa and Xiangyou Wang

To control asparagus harvest timing, we investigated the effects of short-term low (5%) oxygen (O2) treatment in the cultivation area on asparagus growth and yield using a closed cultivation system. During 120 days of cultivation, low O2 treatments were initiated at 0 to 4, 20 to 24, and 40 to 44 days after planting (DAP). The sprouting spears and control crown yield gradually decreased with increasing DAP. However, low O2 treatment at 0 to 4 DAP significantly delayed the decrease until 80 DAP, although the total yield did not change during cultivation. In contrast, low O2 treatments at 20 to 24 and 40 to 44 DAP did not affect yield performance. Taken together, short-term low O2 treatment immediately after planting can change the harvest timing of white asparagus and can be used for effective asparagus culturing in a closed system, such as a plant factory.