[Arabidopsis] problems with growing healthy Arabidopsis plants

Monika Kuzma via arab-gen%40net.bio.net (by kuzmam At performanceplants.com)
Tue Feb 6 15:47:22 EST 2007


I’m writing to see if anyone has come across these types of problems with
growing of Arabidopsis plants and knows the reasons for these problems.


We grow Arabidopsis plants in two ways.  For some experiments they are grown
in trays with 36 slots filled with soil-less mixes such as Pro-mix (Plant
Products) or Sunshine mix (JVK). For other experiments plants are grown in
individual pots ranging in size from 2.25” to 4”.  Plants in trays are
usually grown in reach-in two shelf growth chambers (MTR30, Conviron) and
plants in individual pots are grown in walk-in chambers (PGV36, Conviron).
All chamber have the same growth conditions of 22C, 50-70% RH, 18hr light
(150-200 uE) and 6hr dark.  Plants are watered with RO water daily from the
top as needed, trying not to over-water and allowing soil to dry up a little
between waterings, especially when the plants get a little bigger .  All
plants are fertilized twice weekly with 20-20-20 (plant products) (1g/L)
solution starting at about 1 week after transplant.  All plants are started
on ½ MS agar plates for 1 week before transplanting into soil media.


Only in plants that are grown in the walk-in chambers (in individual pots
rather than trays) we see the following 2 problems:


1).  During vegetative growth at about 4-5 leaf stage the main meristem dies
off, senesces and stops further production of leaves.  These plants do not
bolt or continue to grow.


2)  Plants grow nicely until bolting time.  At bolting the main stem
produces sick abnormal flower.  The buds are very small and open into tiny
flowers which become aborted and do not result in no healthy pod production.
Sometimes, healthy flowers and pods will form after a series of abnormal
flowers and sometimes not.


These two problems can happen independently or in the same experiment.


We have noticed these problems on and off over the last few years.
Generally,  more so in the winter than in the summer.  We have attributed
them to problems with soil because changing our soil mix from Promix to
Sunshine or vice versa would generally get rid of the problem.  Recently,
however both soil mixes give us these problems.  The puzzling thing is that
plants grown in trays in the smaller reach-in chambers do not show any of
these problems and the same soil media are being used.


I would welcome any suggestions or ideas on what may be at the root of the


Monika Kuzma




Dr. Monika Kuzma

Manager, Gene and Trait Assessment


Performance Plants Inc.,

4th Floor, BioScience Complex,

116 Barrie Street, Suite 4600

Kingston, ON  K7L 3N6

Telephone: (613) 545-0390 EXT. 18

Facsimile:  (613) 545-3618

Email: kuzmam At performanceplants.com

Web:   www.performanceplants.com


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