Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 5–10 | Cite as

Electroculture of tomato plants in a commercial hydroponics greenhouse

  • Frank M. Yamaguchi
  • Albert P. Krueger


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of air ion treatment on tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum P. Miller) in terms of: (1) growth and health; (2) fruit yield and quality; and (3) economic factors. The plants were grown by a commercial greenhouse (G.H.) grower employing soilless culture techniques. An air ion generator and emitters were installed in such fashion that 864 plants were exposed to a high negative air ion density flux, while 576 plants grew in an area which received relatively few ions. Normal operational procedures, with certain modifications, were employed for plant culture, feed/irrigation, and environmental control.

Plants responded vigouously to air ion stimulation, which equated to shortening of the seeding-to-harvest time period by two weeks as measured by vine growth, main stem height, time to blossoming, fruit set, and fruit yield. Throughout the first four-month growth period plant growth was good and no serious physiological disorders nor insect damage were observed. During the sixth harvest week a virus infection appeared in both control and ion-treated plants, but was not of sufficient severity to ruin the experimnent. Foliage and fruit samples were subjected to laboratory analyses. In general, the stimulated plants contained higher percentages of mineral elements than those of the controls. Fruit from ion-treated plants has more ascorbic and citric acid than that from control plants. Although there were no wide differences in fruit texture or flavor, a taste panel verdict indicated that fruit from the stimulated plants tasted better. An unexpected benefit was marked decrease in white fly infestation. All these factors combined with the low cost of air-ion treatment suggest that this modality offers potential for greenhouse cultivation of garden crops.


Tomato Plant Fruit Yield Taste Panel Greenhouse Cultivation Vine Growth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bachman, C.H.; Hademonos, B.G.; Underwood, L.W.J. Atmospher. Terrestr. Phys. 33, 497–505.Google Scholar
  2. Bachman, C.H.; Reichmanis, M. #+4 1973.Int. J. Biometeor. 17, 253–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beccaria, G.B. 1775.Dell' Elettricita Terrestre Atmosferica a Cielo Sereno. Torino.Google Scholar
  4. Bertholon de Saint-Lazare; 1783.De l'electricite des végétaux, Paris.Google Scholar
  5. Blackman, V.H.; Legg, A.T. 1924.J. Agric. Sci. 14, 268.Google Scholar
  6. Cholodny, N.G.; Sankewitsch, E. Ch. 1937.Plant Physiol. 12, 385–408.Google Scholar
  7. Elkiey, T.M.; Pelletier, R.L.; Bhartendu; Barthakur, N. 1977.Int. J. Biometeor. 21, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elster, J.; Geitel, H. 1899.Terrestr. Magazin, 4, 213–34.Google Scholar
  9. Gardini, C.De influxu electricitatis atmosphericae in vegetantia, Turin, 1784. (Dissertation).Google Scholar
  10. Gassner, G. 1907.Ber. Bot. Ges. 25, 26.Google Scholar
  11. Ingenhousz, J. 1788. l'influence de l' electricité atmospherique sur les végétaux. J. phys. 32.Google Scholar
  12. Kotaka, S.; Krueger, A.P.; Nishizawa, K.; Obuchi, T.; Kogure, Y.; Takenobu, M. 1965.Proc. Bot. Soc. Jpn. C21, 43.Google Scholar
  13. Kotaka, S.; Krueger, A.P.; Nishizawa, K.; Obuchi, T.; Takenobu, M.; Kogure, Y.; Andriese, P.C. 1965.Nature 208, 1112–1113.Google Scholar
  14. Krueger, A.P.; Kotaka, S.; Andriese, P.C. 1962.J. Gen. Physiol. 45, 879–895.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krueger, A.P.; Kotaka, S.; Andriese, P.C. 1963.Nature 200, 707–708.Google Scholar
  16. Krueger, A.P.; Kotaka, S.; Andriese, P.C. 1964.Int. J. Biometeor. 8, 5–16.Google Scholar
  17. Krueger, A.P.; Kotaka, S.; Andriese, P.C. 1965.Int. J. Biometeor. 9, 201–209.Google Scholar
  18. Krueger, A. P.; Strubbe, A. E.; Yost, M. G.; Reed, E. J. 1978.Int. J. Biometeor. 22, 202–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lemstrom. S. 1904.Electricity in Agriculture and Horticulture, London.Google Scholar
  20. Lund, E.J., et al. 1947.Bioelectric Fields and Growth. University of Austin Press, Austin, Texas. 391 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Maw, G.M. 1967.Can. J. Plant Sci. 47, 499–504.Google Scholar
  22. Murr, L.E. 1963.Nature 200, 490.Google Scholar
  23. Murr, L. E. 1964.Nature 201, 1305–1306.Google Scholar
  24. Murr, L.E. 1965a.Nature 206, 467–470.Google Scholar
  25. Murr, L.E. 1965b.Nature 207, 1177–1178.Google Scholar
  26. Murr, L.E. 1966a.Int. J. Biometeor. 10, 147–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Murr, L.E. 1966b.Adv. Frontiers Plant Sci. 16, 97–120.Google Scholar
  28. Murr, L.E. 1966c.Int. J. Biometeor. 10, 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pohl, H.A. 1977.J. Biol. Phys. 5, 3–23.Google Scholar
  30. Pohl, H.A.; Todd, G.W. 1981.Int J. Biometeor. 25, 309–321.Google Scholar
  31. Reinert, R.A.; Tingly, D.T.; Carter, H.B. 1972.J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 97, 149–151.Google Scholar
  32. Sidaway, G.H. 1967.Spectrum. 211, 303.Google Scholar
  33. Sidaway, G.H. 1975.J. Electrostatics. 00, 389–393.Google Scholar
  34. Sidaway, G.H.; Aspray, G.H. 1968.Int. J. Biometeor, 12, 321–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Thomson, J.J. 1898.Phil. Mag. 46, 528–545.Google Scholar
  36. Winton, R.,et al. Unpublished data.Google Scholar
  37. Zhurbitskii, Z.I. 1969. Proc USSR Acad. Sci., Biol, Series #1, Jan.-Feb., 100–112.Google Scholar
  38. Zhurbitskii, Z.I.; Shidlovskaya, I.L. 1967.Elektron. Obrad. Mater. 6, 70–73.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Forum Press, Inc 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank M. Yamaguchi
    • 1
  • Albert P. Krueger
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Research & Development, General Agriponics, Inc.Saratoga
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical & Environmental Health SciencesSchool of Public HealthBerkeley
  3. 3.Emeritus Lecturer in Medicine & Research BiometeorologistUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley

Personalised recommendations