A closed root environment for plant production Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z890rw48s

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  • Thesis research focused on: 1) Water and fertilizer gradients within the plant root zone, and effects of chemical and physical gradients on Trichoderma harzianum populations. 2) Regulation of root growth physically with permeable fabric containers and chemically with copper compounds. 3) Effects of copper coatings for fabric containers on Glomus intraradix vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and plant growth. Notable results were: 1) Potassium and nitrate movement in the medium was slower than would occur by diffusion in water; therefore, movement can be explained by diffusion alone. Lack of visible water-stress symptoms, plant height, and shoot dry weights and fresh weights indicate that water flow rates were adequate to meet the demand of plant transpiration. Populations of T. harzianum increased with increasing concentrations of K⁺ and NO₃, and populations were higher when a corn plant was present. 2) A nonwoven polypropylene fabric container physically prevented root penetration, and reduced, but did not eliminate root circling. A Cu(OH)₂-latex paint suspension applied to the fabric containers increased root density, and improved root distribution. Neither the fabric container nor the copper treatment had an adverse effect on plant growth. 3) Treating fabric root pouches with either copper treatment, Spinout or Texcide, significantly increased the percentage of corn root length colonized by the VA endomycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradix without adversely affecting plant shoot growth. Both copper treatments significantly increased the root density and root distribution in the pouches.
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