Honors College
 

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Summer 8-2019

Abstract

Three methods of hydroculture were compared for their effects on the root anatomy and morphology of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Defiant). A hydroponic deep water culture method, an ebb-flood system using expanded clay pellets as a solid medium and an aeroponic sub-mist system were compared, with a solid peat/perlite medium for control. The treatments were found to have significant effects on plant root and shoot length, as well as root and shoot biomass. Root morphology was visually distinct among treatments, and all methods of hydroculture were associated with a significant increase in vascular tissue in plant roots compared with the control. Root hairs were also visible on plants grown in ebb-flood systems. Plants grown in peat/perlite medium tended to show reduced root and shoot biomass compared with the treatment. These data seem to corroborate the connection between hydroculture and increased plant growth rate. Additionally, they suggest that greater water availability leads to increased diameter of vascular structures in roots, and that root hair development is influenced by aeration and media texture.

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