Is tipburn really caused by a calcium deficiency?

Tipburn is a major problem for vertical farm production because lettuce plants that develop this disorder are unsaleable. Despite the importace of minimizing this problem in vertical farms, the actual cause of the disorder is still debated. The most common hypothesis is that tipburn is the result of a calcium deficiency in the tips of the developing leaves, but another hypothesis suggests that this calcium deficiency is just a symptom, and rather, oxidative stress/damage is actually the cause of tipburn. We want to conduct a time course study measuring the membrane leakage, calcium concentrations, and oxidative indicators of lettuce leaves that are developing tipburn to observe which effect occurs first: a spike in MES (an oxidative indicator) or a decrease in calcium concentration.

Used skills

  • Plant growth measurements
  • Climate chamber experiments
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualization
  • Laboratory skills

Interested in doing a BSc or MSc thesis at HPP? Please contact the HPP student coordinator Katharina Hanika.