Southwestern
University
Southwestern University
Max Taub
TEACHING




Biology of Food
Biology 123

Some types of greenhouse plant research projects:

Experiments that directly test responses of plants to environmental factors such as salinity or nutrients:

        Salinity tolerance of species and cultivars

There has been little experimentation to evaluate the salinity tolerance of many alternative crop species. We have a number of such species available that we can experiment with.

        Methods of ameliorating salinity stress for species and cultivars
A number of treatments have been found to alleviate the effects of salinity for a number of plant species. There has been little experimentation to evaluate these techniques to enhance the salinity tolerance of many alternative crop species. We have a number of such species available that we can experiment with.

   
        Evaluation of Azospirillum bacterium
Azospirillum is a soil bacterium that has been found to enhance the growth of a number of grass species. There are many grass crop species for which it has not been tried. However we currently do not have a stock of this bacterium.
   
Evaluation of commercial nutrient and soil amendment products:

        Evaluation of AVA as a slow-release fertilizer
We have a supply of a new type of slow-release fertilizer called AVA. This fertilizer is essentially a glass that contains minerals and that slowly degrades in the soil. It contains all the minerals a plant needs, with the exception of nitrogen. Many experiments have been performed with this fertilizer in Russia, however we are among the few people who currently have this fertilizer in North America. Results from experiments with this material are only beginning to appear in international journals. Data that we obtain about the effectiveness of this fertilizer will therefore be novel and of potential wider interest.
    
        Evaluation of commercial nonconventional soil additives
Conventional soil additives are fertilizers, materials that contain the minerals known to influence plant growth. There are many products on the market that contain little or none of these minerals, but that are claimed to nonetheless enhance plant growth and yield. Many supposedly rely on mechanisms that have little or no scientific verification. There have been many experiments rigorously evaluating the effects of this type of product, and many have been found to be worthless, while some have been found to have genuine positive effects on plant performance. We have ordered a supply of one such product (Earth Juice Catalyst), and could obtain others to evaluate.