2019 Volume 88 Issue 3 Pages 380-386
To clarify the effect of ultrafine bubbles (UFBs) on the growth of tomato seedlings, we investigated elongation growth and dry matter production by analysing growth under different assimilation conditions and by modelling. The leaf area enlargement rate of plants grown with UFB nutrient solution increased and the specific leaf area (SLA) decreased at 18 days after sowing (DAS) relative to those grown without UFB solution. Thus, UFBs increased both leaf area and leaf thickness. UFB significantly increased the relative growth rate (RGR) and net assimilation rate (NAR) at 18 DAS, but there was no significant difference in SLA, RGR, and NAR between treatments at 25 DAS. These results were used to model plant growth with and without UFB treatment. In a second experiment, UFB treatment increased aboveground dry weight under a low-assimilation condition, but had no significant effect under a high-assimilation condition. Our model supported these results. It was also implied that UFB treatment affected leaf area expansion, but not dry matter production. Although the values predicted by the model were slightly lower than observed, it was possible to predict the effect of UFB treatment on plant growth with high accuracy.