Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2508

A Comparison of Root Module Designs Relative to Wheat Growth and Development: Defining the Requirements for a Space Based Plant Culture System 2000-01-2508

Wheat plants were grown at water potentials in the root zone of -0.4, -3.0, and -5.0 kPa in root modules with various porous membranes through which the nutrient solution was delivered. Root modules contained plants grown during 49 days on different types of porous membranes: ceramic porous tubes with diameters of 10 mm or 22 mm, a porous titanium plate, in a compartment with a porous ceramic tube in perlite and in a 2.5 cm layer of perlite which covered a porous titanium plate. Root modules containing perlite showed much higher dry mass plants in yield than plants in root modules without perlite. A drop in water potential resulted in growth inhibition in all of the modules, especially in the tests without perlite. Design characteristics of the modules significantly affected the root distribution volume. These results may provide additional information in the design of root modules for future space plant growth chambers.


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