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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Cell-wall degrading enzymes in slow filters of closed hydroponic systems

Brand T, Alsanius BW


Slow filtration is an effective, reliable and economically reasonable technique for disinfestation of nutrient solution in closed irrigation systems. However, the problematic control of its efficacy is a major shortcoming of this technique. The efficacy of slow filters against pathogenic microorganisms is caused by a complex combination of mechanical, physical-chemical and biological factors. Due to the importance of biological factors, parameters describing biological processes are possible factors for predicting the efficacy of slow filters. The natural occurrence, induction and significance of cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDE, such as protease, chitinase, cellulase and beta-1,3-glucanase) in slow filters were investigated. On non-treated slow filters of rockwool, proteolytic and chitinolytic activity was enhanced mainly in the top filter layer compared with the nutrient solution. For cellulase and beta-1,3-glucanase activity, no accumulation could be found. Induction of all CWDE was possible in situ with a preparation of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cyclaminis. Statistical analysis revealed that enzyme activity on rockwool was correlated with the efficacy of slow filters (r(2) = 0.495). Chitinase had the strongest influence, followed by protease and cellulase, whereas beta-1,3-glucanase had no significance. Hence, enzyme activity represents one parameter for predicting the prevailing efficacy of slow filters


horticulture; enzyme activity; tomato

Published in

Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
2004, Volume: 79, number: 2, pages: 228-233

      SLU Authors

    • Brand, Thomas

      • Department of Crop Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Alsanius, Beatrix

        • Department of Crop Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Publication identifier


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