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Excess nutrients in hydroponic solutions alter nutrient content of rice, wheat, and potatoEnvironment has significant effects on the nutrient content of field-grown crop plants. Little is known, however, about compositional changes caused by controlled environments in which plants receive only artificial radiation and soilless, hydroponic culture. This knowledge is essential for developing a safe, nutritious diet in a Controlled Ecological Life-Support System (CELSS). Three crops that are candidates for inclusion in a CELSS (rice, wheat, and white potato) were grown both in the field and in controlled environments where the hydroponic nutrient solution, photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and CO2 level were manipulated to achieve rapid growth rates. Plants were harvested at maturity, separated into discrete parts, and dried prior to analysis. Plant materials were analyzed for proximate composition (protein, fat, ash, and carbohydrate), total nitrogen (N), nitrate, minerals, and amino-acid composition. The effect of environment on nutrient content varied by crop and plant part. Total N and nonprotein N (NPN) contents of plant biomass generally increased under controlled-environment conditions compared to field conditions, especially for leafy plant parts and roots. Nitrate levels were increased in hydroponically-grown vegetative tissues, but nitrate was excluded from grains and tubers. Mineral content changes in plant tissue included increased phosphorus and decreased levels of certain micronutrient elements under controlled-environment conditions. These findings suggest that cultivar selection, genetic manipulation, and environmental control could be important to obtain highly nutritious biomass in a CELSS.
Document ID
20040089941
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
McKeehen, J. D. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Mitchell, C. A.
Wheeler, R. M.
Bugbee, B.
Nielsen, S. S.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
Volume: 18
Issue: 5-Apr
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-2329
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
NASA Discipline Number 61-20
NASA Program NSCORT
NASA Discipline Number 93-10
NASA Discipline Number 61-10
Non-NASA Center
NASA Center KSC
NASA Program CELSS
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems