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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 6, p. 1321-1323
    Received: Mar 28, 1980
    Accepted: July 14, 1980

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A Method for Obtaining Soil-Free, Soil-Solution Grown Plant Root Systems1

  1. J. J. Cappy and
  2. D. A. Brown2



A method has been developed by which soybean plants are grown deriving all nutrients from the soil solution without direct root-soil contact. This soil-packet plant culturing system consists of approximately 125 soil packets arranged in a plexiglas growth box to provide maximum packet surface area for root proliferation. Each soil packet consists of 35 g of soil enclosed in an envelope constructed from semipermeable filtration membrane material. The membrane allows the passage of water and ions between the soil and root but does not allow direct root-soil contact. Thus, an intact soil-free root system develops. Soybean plants grown using the soil-packet system were larger than those grown in an equivalent amount of soil in a pot. Root systems of packet-grown plants required less time and effort for removal and suffered less damage than did root systems of pot-grown soybeans.

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