Plant Growth Chambers

June 23rd, 2014 by Acmas Leave a reply »

Plant Growth Chambers an approach to study the factors affecting the Plant growth

 is the process by which a plant increases in the number and size of leaves and stems. The growth of both plants and animals requires energy. Animals get their energy by digesting the plants they eat. Plants get their energy from the sun through photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is the process where the green pigment in the plant’s leaf (chlorophyll) absorbs energy from sunlight and, using this energy, water, and carbon dioxide, produces oxygen and simple sugars. The plant then uses these sugars to make more complex sugars and starches for storage as energy reserves, to make cellulose and hemicellulose for cell walls or with nitrogen, to make proteins. How the plant uses its energy depends on the developmental stage of the plant and on environmental conditions.

Growth is determined by environmental factors, such as temperature, available water, available light, and available nutrients in the soil. Any change in the availability of these external conditions will be reflected in the plants growth. Biotic factors (living organisms) also affect plant growth.

Plant growth and geographic distribution are greatly affected by the environment. If any environmental factor is less than ideal, it limits a plant’s growth and/or distribution. For example, only plants adapted to limited amounts of water can live in deserts.

Either directly or indirectly, most plant problems are caused by environmental stress. In some cases, poor environmental conditions (e.g., too little water) damage a plant directly. In other cases, environmental stress weakens a plant and makes it more susceptible to disease or insect attack.

Environmental factors that affect plant growth include

  • Temperature; is a measure of the intensity of heat. Plant growth occurs in a fairly narrow range – 60 – 100 degrees F. Temperature directly affects the processes of photosynthesis, respiration transpiration  and absorption of water and nutrients.
  • Moisture supply; Plant growth is restricted by low and high levels of soil moisture as good soil moisture improves nutrient uptake. If moisture is a limiting factor fertilizer is not used efficiently.
  • Radiant energy; quality, intensity and duration (photoperiodism) of light are important for the plant growth. Photoperiodism is defined as the behavior of plant in relation to length of the day. On the basis of day period the plants can be:

a)      long day plants – flowering occur only if days are longer than same critical period – 12 hours e.g. Grains and clovers

b)      Short day plants – flowering occur only if days are shorter than critical period e.g. soybeans.

c)       Indeterminate – flowering occur over a wide range of day lengths. E.g. Tomato, cotton, buckwheat

  • Composition of the atmosphere; plant growth majorly depends on the amounts of gases present in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen etc.
  • Soil aeration and soil structure; Compact soils of high bulk density and poor structure are aerated poorly. Pore space is occupied by air and water so the amount of air and water are inversely proportional to the amount of oxygen in the soil. On well drained soils, oxygen content is not likely to be limiting to plant growth.

There are many more environmental factors affecting plant growth some of them are:

  • Soil reaction
  • Biotic factors
  • Supply of mineral nutrients
  • Absence of growth-restricting substances

It is important to understand how these factors affect plant growth and development.

With a basic understanding of these factors, one (researcher/student) may be able to manipulate plants to meet required needs, whether for increased leaf, flower, or fruit production. By recognizing the roles of these factors, personnel also will be better able to diagnose plant problems caused by environmental stress.

Environmental chambers called Plant growth chambers are designed to study the effect of described different environmental factors such as humidity, temperature and light in various application tests. These plant growth chambers can be Rich in chambers or walk in chambers.

These plant growth chambers have their applications in the following areas;

  • Production of biotherapeutic proteins
  • Germplasm containments
  • Biotechnology
  • Agriculture
  • Tissue Culture Applications
  • Enzyme reaction applications
  • Fermentation analysis

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