Optimizing the environment to minimize tipburn

Tipburn is a major problem for vertical farm production because lettuce plants that develop this disorder are unsaleable. The primary theory is that tipburn is caused by a calcium deficiency in the tips of young developing leaves. Yet, supplying more calcium to the rootzone media does not solve this problem. This has led to the assumption that tipburn is caused by poor distribution of calcium once it enters the plant, likely caused by transpiration issues. This project focuses on running experiments that vary conditions that are known to induce tipburn in lettuce including temperauture, PPFD, photoperiod, planting density, humidity, cultivar, and windspeed. Chambers are already set up for this experiment with numerous sensors to collect a variety of environmental and plant data. Tasks include planting, harvesting, data management, calibration, and possibly building experimental equipement.

Used skills

  • Plant growth measurements
  • Instrumentation
  • Building experimental systems
  • Climate chamber experiments
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualization
  • General laboratory skills

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