Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC RESOURCES, EVALUATION, AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT OF WOODY LANDSCAPE PLANT GERMPLASM Title: The property and effect of bioplastic pots on the growth and developmental physiology of Lily and Begonia

Authors
item Roh, Mark
item Bauchan, Gary
item Murphy, Charles
item Bunce, James

Submitted to: Journal of Horticulture, Environment and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 16, 2012
Publication Date: December 3, 2012
Citation: Roh, M.S., Bauchan, G.R., Murphy, C.F., Bunce, J.A. 2012. The property and effect of bioplastic pots on the growth and developmental physiology of Lily and Begonia. Journal of Horticulture, Environment and Biotechnology. 53:467-476.

Interpretive Summary: About 1.8 trillion pots and containers made with petroleum based plastic are used by various industries. Four to six billion pounds of chicken feather wastes are available to make biodegradable and/or compostable nursery containers. Three different injection molded bioplastic (BP) pots, BP 29, BP 32, and BP 45 pots, manufactured from different compositions containing processed feather fibers, were evaluated. Growth and flowering of Lilium hybrid ‘Triumphator’ and Begonia ‘Bonfire’ were tested in new and reused BP pots. BP pots were used to grow lilies (used once) and then reused to grow begonia (used twice). Net photosynthesis was measured and macro- and micro-elements were analyzed in ‘Triumphator’. Ultrastructure of cells and shape of the epidermis of ‘Triumphator’ were analyzed using a low temperature-scanning electron microscope (LT-SEM). Surface changes in the BP pots, the weight of the pots, and macro- and micro-elements were analyzed in new, used once, and used twice BP pots. Root and shoot growth were significantly inhibited and flowering was delayed when lilies were grown in new BP 32 pots as compared to BP 29 and BP 45 pots. Cell size was also reduced. In BP 32, the pH and the concentration of ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), and iron (Fe) were significantly higher than those of BP 29 and BP 45 pots. Based on the developmental changes of lily and foliar analysis of begonia grown in three different compositions of BP pots, it is concluded that BP 45 is better than the other pot types if proper levels of nutrients are maintained during culture.

Technical Abstract: Three different injection molded bioplastic (BP) pots, BP 29, BP 32, and BP 45 pots, containing processed feather fibers, were evaluated. Growth and flowering of Lilium hybrid ‘Triumphator’ and Begonia ‘Bonfire’ were evaluated in new and reused BP pots. Net photosynthesis was measured and macro- and micro-elements were analyzed in ‘Triumphator’. Ultrastructure of epidermis cells of ‘Triumphator’ were analyzed using a low temperature-scanning electron microscope (LT-SEM). Surface changes, the weight, and macro- and micro-elements of the BP pots were analyzed. When lilies were grown in BP 32 pots, root and shoot growth were inhibited, flowering was delayed and the net photosynthesis was negative, grana development, and starch granules were not observed as compared to those in BP 45 pots. Changes in the surface of BP 32 pots after forcing lilies (used once) showed a distinct space between feather fibers and other constituents which could be due to chemical changes resulting from absorption of water. When BP pots were analyzed for pH and macro- and micro-elements, the pH and the concentration of ammonium nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and iron were significantly higher in the new BP 32 than those of BP 29 and BP 45 pots. Based on the growth and development of lily and begonia and net photosynthesis and grana development of lily, and foliar analysis of begonia grown in three different BP pots, it is concluded that BP 45 is recommended to grow lily and begonia when proper levels of nutrition are maintained during culture. Poor root growth and development of ‘Triumphator’ lily grown in new BP 32 pots could be associated with leaching of toxic substances once the pots absorb water during the culture.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page