Measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plants allows us to monitor plant health status without touching the plant. To bring this technique a step further towards a practical plant diagnosis technique for greenhouse crop production, we have defined a numerical index named "Emission index" to evaluate VOC emissions from tomato plants isolated from ambient greenhouse air using an open-bottom chamber. The emission index of a VOC is a ratio of the concentration of the VOC in the air inside the chamber to that in the ambient greenhouse air and the index should be larger than one if the VOC is emitted by the plants in the chamber. Measurement of the emission indices of representative tomato VOCs proved that non-stressed tomato plants in a greenhouse emit n-hexanal, 2-carene, beta-phellandrene, alpha-copaene, beta-caryophyllene and (3E,7E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene (TMTT), do not emit (Z)-3-hexenol, and might absorb and/or adsorb n-hexanol. Another experiment proved that a routine crop maintenance operation, i.e. removal of old leaves from the lower part of plants and removal of side shoots, enhances the emissions of n-hexanal, (E)-2-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexenol, but does not enhance the emissions of alpha-copaene, methyl salicylate (MeSA) and TMTT. The results suggest that the measurement of emission index with the open-bottom chamber is a useful technique for monitoring VOC emissions by plants in a greenhouse under practical conditions. (C) 2012 IAgrE. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|