Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Marcia Harrison

Second Advisor

Elizabeth E. Murray

Third Advisor

Philippe Georgel


With the worldwide phaseout of methyl bromide, the use of hydroponic systems has increased as an economic alternative for the growth of many horticulturally-important crops, including strawberries. In this study, the effect of hydroponics on strawberry plant physiology was examined by first measuring ethylene levels, a plant hormone known to increase due to stressful conditions, and plant growth and yield. Using a gas chromatograph, ethylene was measured from plants which showed that light and temperature have minimal effects, but placement of plants could have an effect on plant growth and yield. Next, the mechanism of ethylene production was examined by measuring levels of the ACS gene. Several techniques to obtain RNA from strawberries were tested, but inconclusive results were obtained. In conclusion, the use of ethylene measurements and elucidation of the ethylene pathway could be used as indicators for plant stress to help minimize stress and increase growth and yield.



Hydroponic systems.

Plants - Effects of ethylene on.