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(searched for: doi:10.3390/w12051259)
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Published: 22 June 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Hydrogen peroxide has been used as a sanitation agent for many years. Recently, hydrogen peroxide products have been used to remove algae from irrigation lines and sanitize hydroponic systems between uses. However, hydrogen peroxide can have phytotoxic effects on plants at high concentrations. The goal of this research was to determine if hydrogen peroxide treatments affected plant and algae growth in the ebb and flow hydroponic systems. The research was conducted at the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture greenhouses in Stillwater, OK. Two cultivars of lettuce, ‘Green Forest’ and ‘Tropicana’, and two cultivars of basil, ‘Aroma II’ and ‘Genovese’, were transplanted into the ebb and flow hydroponic systems, and three different hydrogen peroxide products, PERpose Plus, ZeroTol, and 3% hydrogen peroxide, were applied at different rates and combinations in two experiments. Shoot fresh weight in lettuce was found to be significantly greater in control and 3% hydrogen peroxide treatments for both cultivars; however, in ‘Tropicana’ those treatments were not different from any other treatment. Greater amounts of PERpose Plus and ZeroTol, such as 60 mL, restricted plant growth in lettuce, whereas only cultivar differences for SPAD and plant width were reported for basil. Algae growth was not significantly controlled by any treatment in this research based on algae counts, weights, or spectrometer readings. However, algae species quantification did show that Microspora tumidula was found in the greatest concentrations in control, with a 96.0%, 99.2%, 94.0%, and 97.9% reduction in the 15 mL ZeroTol, 60 mL ZeroTol, 15 mL PERpose Plus, and 3% hydrogen peroxide treatments, respectively. Other algae genera identified included Scenedesmus, Chlamydomonas, Gloeocystis, Tetraspora, Leptolyngbya, Pennate diatoms, and Centric diatoms.
L. D'Aquino, B. Lanza, E. Gambale, M. Sighicelli, P. Menegoni, G.C. Modarelli, J. Rimauro, E. Chianese, G. Nenna, T. Fasolino, et al.
Published: 1 June 2022
Scientia Horticulturae, Volume 299; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2022.111035

Michele Ciriello, Luigi Formisano, Marios C. Kyriacou, Giuseppe Colla, Giulia Graziani, Alberto Ritieni, Stefania De Pascale,
Frontiers in Plant Science, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.906686

Abstract:
The floating raft constitutes a valuable system for growing herbs as it effectuates high yield and prime functional quality. However, the pressing need for advancing sustainability in food production dictates the reduction of chemical fertilizer inputs in such intensive production schemes through innovative cultivation practices. In this perspective, our work appraised the productive and qualitative responses of two “Genovese” basil genotypes (Eleonora and Italiano Classico) grown in a floating raft system with nutrient solutions of varied electrical conductivity (EC; 2 and 1 dS m−1) combined with root application of protein hydrolysate biostimulant at two dosages (0.15 and 0.3 0 ml L−1 of Trainer®). The phenolic composition, aromatic profile, and antioxidant activities (ABTS, DPPH, and FRAP) of basil were determined by UHPLC/HRMS, GC/MS, and spectrophotometry, respectively. “Eleonora” demonstrated higher number of leaves (37.04 leaves per plant), higher fresh yield (6576.81 g m−2), but lower polyphenol concentration (1440.81 μg g−1 dry weight) compared to “Italiano Classico.” The lower EC solution (1 dS m−1) increased total phenols (+32.5%), ABTS, DPPH, and FRAP antioxidant activities by 33.2, 17.1, and 15.8%, respectively, and decreased linalool relative abundance by 5.5%. Biostimulant application improved crop performance and increased total phenolic concentration in both genotypes, with the highest phenolic concentration (1767.96 μg g−1 dry weight) registered at the lowest dose. Significant response in terms of aromatic profile was detected only in “Eleonora.” Our results demonstrate that the application of protein hydrolysate may compensate for reduced strength nutrient solution by enhancing yield and functional quality attributes of “Genovese” basil for pesto.
Sowmya R. Sathyanarayan, Vishal G. Warke, Girish B. Mahajan,
Journal of Plant Nutrition pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1080/01904167.2022.2071736

Abstract:
Hydroponics has been used as one of the standard methods for many types of research in plant biology using different nutrients. The aim of the present study is to understand the nutrient solution in hydroponics. In hydroponics, the nutrient solution is referred to as a nutrient containing various essential elements, which is used to feed plants instead of plain water. There is no ideal nutrient solution for any type of hydroponics system. Yet, some solutions include 16 elements that are suitable for several crops under a wide range of cropping and environmental conditions. The concept of balance among the cations and anions is the main focus of nutrient solution preparation. The specific nutrient solution is prepared from essential elements containing macro and micronutrients necessary for plant growth, development, and functional role. Hydroponic technology is less forgiving than soil because plants grown in hydroponics show deficiency or toxicity symptoms due to nutrients as quickly as soil. Nutrient solution management in hydroponics technology is essential, easy, and accurate as electrical conductivity, pH, oxygen content, and temperature can be manipulated. The synergistic (positive) nutrient interactions must be maximized for optimal nutrient use efficiency, whereas antagonistic (negative) nutrient interactions must be minimized. The composition, chemical forms, and absorption capacity of nutrients by plants in hydroponics are crucial for specific crop's growth and development. Even many researchers concluded that plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) had drawn attention to an important role in contributing to mineral nutrition of plant.
Published: 6 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
Hydroponics is a viable alternative to open field cultivation for year-round vegetable production in urban areas. However, the total dependence on external chemical inputs (fertilizers) makes these systems often less environmentally sustainable. In this perspective, the use of biostimulants could represent a valuable and eco-friendly tool to limit the excessive use of fertilizers without a negative impact on the yield. To this end, our work aimed to evaluate the productive and physiological response of two cultivars of ‘Genovese’ basil (Eleonora and Italiano Classico) for the industrial production of “pesto” grown for 22 days in two nutrient solutions with different electrical conductivity (1 and 2 dS m−1) and the application of two doses of protein hydrolysates (0.15- and 0.30-mL L−1 of Trainer® in the nutrient solution). The mineral profile was evaluated by ion chromatography coupled with a conductivity detector, while pigments were evaluated by UV-Vis spectrophotometry. Generally, the nutrient solution concentration did not significantly affect the fresh yield of the two cultivars tested. On the contrary, the use of the maximum dose of biostimulant (BT2 = 0.30 mL L−1 of nutrient solution) increased fresh yield, leaf area, and ACO2 by 20.7, 27.5, and 17.6%, respectively, compared with the control. Using the lowest dose of biostimulant (BT1 = 0.15 mL L−1 of the nutrient solution) reduced nitrate by 6.6% compared with the control. The results obtained showed that basil cultivation in a floating raft system combined with biostimulant in the nutrient solution could be an excellent solution to improve productivity, reduce nitrate, and cut fertilizer costs.
Published: 3 May 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
The hydroponic production of microgreens has potential to develop, at both an industrial, and a family level, due to the improved production platforms. The literature review found numerous studies which recommend procedures, parameters and best intervals for the development of microgreens. This paper aims to develop, based on the review of the literature, a set of procedures and parameters, included in a test protocol, for hydroponically cultivated microgreens. Procedures and parameters proposed to be included in the trial protocol for evaluating platforms for growing microgreens in hydroponic conditions are: (1) different determinations: in controlled settings (setting the optimal ranges) and in operational environments settings (weather conditions in the area/testing period); (2) procedures and parameters related to microgreen growth (obtaining the microgreens seedling, determining microgreen germination, measurements on the morphology of plants, microgreens harvesting); (3) microgreens production and quality (fresh biomass yield, dry matter content, water use efficiency, bioactive compound analysis, statistical analysis). Procedures and parameters proposed in the protocol will provide us with the evaluation information of the hydroponic platforms to ensure: number of growing days to reach desired size; yield per area, crop health, and secondary metabolite accumulation.
Jing Hu, Wenyi Jia, Xinyi Wu, Haiyun Zhang, Yin Wang, Junfeng Liu, , Shu Tao,
Environmental Science: Nano, Volume 9, pp 1530-1540; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1en00948f

Abstract:
In vitro root amendment with CDs can promote photosynthesis of lettuce by enhancing photoreaction processes and CO2 fixation.
Yu-Ting Chu, Paul B. Brown
Published: 24 February 2022
Frontiers in Marine Science, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.824973

Abstract:
Formulated diets for animals is the primary source of nutrients in aquaponic systems that need to maintain beneficial bacteria as well as for plants. Dietary protein is one of the expensive macronutrients in fish diets, especially when fishmeal is used, and it is the source of nitrogen (N) for other biotic components. Biofloc has the potential to serve as the supplement diet for shrimp and reduce the need of expensive protein. However, it is not clear if low dietary protein will be adequate to support the three organisms (animals, plants, and bacteria) in an aquaponic system operated with biofloc technology. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of shrimp feed with different protein concentrations (30, 35, or 40%) on water quality and the growth performance of Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and three edible halophytic plants (Atriplex hortensis, Salsola komarovii, and Plantago coronopus) in biofloc-based marine aquaponics. The experiment was conducted for 12 weeks, the plants were harvested and seedlings transplanted every 4 weeks. Dietary protein content did not influence shrimp growth in the current study, indicating that feeds with lower protein concentrations can be used in biofloc-based marine aquaponic systems. During the early and mid-stages of cultivation, plants grew better when supplied diets with higher protein concentration, whereas no differences were observed for later harvests. Hence, for maximum production with mature systems or in the scenario of high concentration of nitrate, providing a higher protein concentration feed in the early stages of system start-up, and switching to a lower protein concentration feed in later stages of cultivation was recommended.
Published: 25 January 2022
by MDPI
Abstract:
In the aquaponic system, plant nutrients bioavailable from fish excreta are not sufficient for optimal plant growth. Accurate and timely monitoring of the plant’s nutrient status grown in aquaponics is a challenge in order to maintain the balance and sustainability of the system. This study aimed to integrate color imaging and deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) to diagnose the nutrient status of lettuce grown in aquaponics. Our approach consists of multi-stage procedures, including plant object detection and classification of nutrient deficiency. The robustness and diagnostic capability of proposed approaches were evaluated using a total number of 3000 lettuce images that were classified into four nutritional classes—namely, full nutrition (FN), nitrogen deficiency (N), phosphorous deficiency (P), and potassium deficiency (K). The performance of the DCNNs was compared with traditional machine learning (ML) algorithms (i.e., Simple thresholding, K-means, support vector machine; SVM, k-nearest neighbor; KNN, and decision Tree; DT). The results demonstrated that the deep proposed segmentation model obtained an accuracy of 99.1%. Also, the deep proposed classification model achieved the highest accuracy of 96.5%. These results indicate that deep learning models, combined with color imaging, provide a promising approach to timely monitor nutrient status of the plants grown in aquaponics, which allows for taking preventive measures and mitigating economic and production losses. These approaches can be integrated into embedded devices to control nutrient cycles in aquaponics.
Yu-Ting Chu, Paul B. Brown
Published: 7 December 2021
Frontiers in Marine Science, Volume 8; https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.771630

Abstract:
Integrated aquaponic food production systems are capable of producing more food on less land using less water than conventional food systems, and marine systems offer the potential of conserving freshwater resources. However, there have been few evaluations of species combinations or operational parameters in marine aquaponics. The goal of this experiment was evaluation of stocking density ratio of Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) to three edible halophytes (Atriplex hortensis, Salsola komarovii, and Plantago coronopus) with two C/N ratios in a 3 × 2 factorial design. There were three stocking density ratios (shrimp: plant), 2:1, 3:1, and 5:1; and two C/N ratios, 12 and 15. The results indicated that stocking density ratio exerted a significant impact on shrimp growth. Shrimp reared in 2:1 and 3:1 treatments had better growth performance. In contrast, plants were affected by both stocking density ratio and C/N ratio. Halophytes grown in stocking density ratios of 3:1 and 5:1 with a C/N ratio of 15 had better growth performance and nutrient content. The concentrations of TAN and NO2 were below 0.2 mg/L throughout the experiment, including the higher stocking density ratio treatments. In conclusion, the stocking density ratio of 3:1 with a C/N ratio of 15 was suggested as the optimal condition for the operation of marine aquaponics in which whiteleg shrimp and the three halophytes are target crops.
Published: 4 August 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Aquaponics is a circulating and sustainable system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics and forms a symbiotic relationship between fish, plants, and microorganisms. We hypothesized that feed alone could support plant growth, but the symbiosis with fish adds some beneficial effects on plant growth in aquaponics. In this study, we created three closed culture systems, namely, aquaponics, hydroponics without nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), and aquaculture, and added the same amount of feed containing N and P to all the treatments in order to test the hypothesis. Accumulation of NO3 and PO43− was alleviated in aquaponics and hydroponics as a result of plant uptake. Lettuce plants grown in aquaponics grew vigorously until 2 weeks and contained a constant level of N in plants throughout the production period, whereas those in hydroponics grew slowly in the early stage and then vigorously after 2 weeks with a late increment of N concentration. These results suggest that catfish help with the faster decomposition of the feed, but, in hydroponics, feed can be slowly dissolved and decomposed owing to the absence of the fish. The bacterial community structures of the culture solution were investigated using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. At the class level, Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria were the major microbial groups in the solutions. Aquaponics prevented the pollution of tank solution and maintained a higher water quality compared with hydroponics and aquaculture, suggesting that aquaponics is a more sustainable cultivation system even in a small-scale system.
Published: 2 April 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Our previous study reported that fresh produce grown in aquaponic and hydroponic systems can pose potential food safety hazards due to an accidental introduction of contaminated fish and cross-contamination between the systems. In this study, we examined the effects of plant species and age on the likelihood and level of internalization of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in aquaponic and hydroponic systems. Four plant species, basil (Ocimum basilicum L. cv. Genovese), cilantro (Coriandrum Sativum L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. Cherokee), and kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica), received root damage treatment as seedlings before transplanting or mature plants at three weeks after transplanting by cutting off 1-cm tips of one-third of the roots. Enrichments and selective media were used for the isolation, and presumptive positive colonies were confirmed by PCR for the presence of stx1 gene in plant tissues, recirculating water, and fish feces collected at four weeks after transplanting. In hydroponic systems, STEC was found neither in the solution nor in the roots and leaves of all four plant species, possibly through improved sanitation and hygiene practices. However, consistent with our previous findings, STEC was found in the water, on the plant roots, and in the fish feces in aquaponic systems, even after thorough sanitation prior to the study. Regardless of plant age, STEC was internalized in the roots of all plant species when the roots were damaged, but there was no difference in the degree of internalization with STEC among plant species. STEC was present in the leaves only when seedlings received root damage treatment and were grown to maturity, indicating that root damage allows STEC to internalize in the roots within a week, but a longer period is required for STEC to internalize into the leaves. We concluded that root damage on seedlings can cause the internalization of E. coli O157:H7 in the edible parts of leafy vegetables and herbs in soilless production systems.
Published: 25 February 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Recently, the Aquaponic Association (AA) published a statement through multiple outlets in response to our article entitled “The Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli in Aquaponic and Hydroponic Systems”
Published: 21 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Aquaponics is an alternative method of food production that confers advantages of biological and economic resource preservations. Nonetheless, one of the main difficulties related to aquaponics systems could be the outbreak and dissemination of pathogens. Conventional treatments need to be administrated carefully because they could be harmful to human, fish, plants and beneficial microorganisms. Aquaponics practitioners are relatively helpless against plant diseases when they occur, especially in the case of root pathogens. Biological control agents (BCAs) may be an effective alternative to chemical inputs for dealing with pathogens of plants under aquaponics systems. Research of BCAs on aquaponics systems is limited, but there are numerous publications on the use of BCAs to control plant pathogens under soilless systems which confirm its potential use on aquaponics systems. The present review summarized the principal plant pathogens, the conventional and alternative BCA treatments on aquaponics systems, while considering related research on aquaculture and soilless systems (i.e., hydroponic) for its applicability to aquaponics and future perspectives related to biological control. Finally, we emphasized the case that aquaponics systems provide relatively untapped potential for research on plant biological control agents. Biological control has the potential to reduce the perturbation effects of conventional treatments on microbial communities, fish and plant physiology, and the whole function of the aquaponics system.
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