Biofilm control in irrigation lines
Biofilms are a complex matrix of polymers with pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms. Organic compounds on the inside surface of pipes and soluble fertilizers provide nutrients for microorganisms and biofilm formation in irrigation pipes. Emitters are clogged directly when biofilm forms a physical barrier, or indirectly by the formation of precipitates with minerals such as iron, manganese and sulfur dissolved in water.
The objectives of this research are to (1) characterize the biological and physical composition of biofilms found in commercial greenhouse operations, (2) identify the effect of biofilm formation in nutrient solutions, (3) understand the relationships between biofilm and plant pathogens, and (4) identify remediation strategies to reduce or prevent the frequency of biofilm formation in irrigation lines in ornamental greenhouse operations.
This project is supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch Multistate Accession Number 1004968, project number #CONS00944.