Aeroponics: An alternative production system for high-value root crops

A. L. Hayden, G. A. Giacomelli, J. J. Hoffmann, T. N. Yokelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


An aeroponic system was developed for the production of root crops used in the herbal and phytopharmaceutical industries. The variability in the phytochemical quality of botanical products precludes the ability to administer uniform dosing in clinical studies. Aeroponic systems allow the producer to precisely control root zone nutrient and water regimes and environmental conditions, as well as have complete access to the roots throughout the life of the crop. This control promises a more uniform harvest. An A-frame aeroponic system was designed to maximize root yields and permit free access to the roots for monitoring. Burdock (Arctium lappa L.) plants were grown in aeroponics with controls grown in a greenhouse soilless potting mix for ten weeks in a research greenhouse in Tucson, Arizona. The plants were harvested and the dry weights of aerial parts and roots were determined, as well as the chloro-genic acid concentration in the dried roots. Chlorogenic acid is a caffeoylquinic acid derivative known to have antioxidant activity. The biomass yields of the aerial parts were significantly higher in the aeroponically grown plants compared to the controls. The root biomass yields showed no significant difference between treatments. The chlorogenic acid concentrations were also not significantly different, however the plant-to-plant variability was significantly lower in the aeroponically grown plants, suggesting the potential for more consistent phytochemical yields using this production technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationXXVI International Horticultural Congress
Subtitle of host publicationThe Future for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9789066055070
StatePublished - 2004

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Arctium
  • Burdock
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Hydroponics
  • Medicinal plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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