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Electro-degradation of culture solution improves growth, yield and quality of strawberry plants grown in closed hydroponics

Raihan Talukder, Md., Asaduzzaman, Md., Tanaka, Hideyuki, Asao, Toshiki
Scientia horticulturae 2019 v.243 pp. 243-251
acidity, allelochemicals, allelopathy, ascorbic acid, benzoic acid, brix, calcium, fruit yield, growth inhibitors, growth performance, hydroponics, iron, minerals, nutrient solutions, root exudates, roots, strawberries
Strawberry plants grown in closed hydroponics accumulate root exudates and cause autotoxicity-a form of intra-specific allelopathy. Root exudate contains several allelochemicals and among them benzoic acid (BA) found as the most potent growth inhibitor. In this study, we applied electro-degradation (ED) to the culture solution in order to degrade their root exudates and improve growth, yield and quality of strawberry. There were four types of nutrient solution used in this study viz. renewed, non-renewed, non-renewed with direct current electro-degradation (DC-ED) and non-renewed with alternative current electro-degradation (AC-ED). Every three weeks interval, culture solutions were changed with fresh 25% standard Enshi nutrient solution in renewed treatment, while DC- and AC-ED treatment were applied in non-renewed solutions. Significantly greater fruit yield (225.9 g plant−1) was obtained from renewed nutrient solution, which was statistically similar to fruit yield in non-renewed solution with AC-ED application. Compared to renewed solution, fruit yield was decreased to about half (114.0 g plant−1) in non-renewed solution while non-renewed with DC-ED produced intermediate yield between non-renewed and renewed solution or non-renewed with AC-ED. In general, growth performance was greater in renewed solution followed by non-renewed with AC-ED, while it was decreased significantly in non-renewed solution with DC-ED similar to non-renewed solution. A similar trend was also observed in vitamin C content while brix and citric acidity was not varied. Minerals such as calcium and iron concentration in the culture solution were significantly decreased in DC-ED, consequently their contents were also found lower in crowns and roots compared to other solutions used. Therefore, it is evident that growth, yield and quality of strawberry can be improved through application of AC-ED in non-renewed solution.