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+21% Boost in Flowering in Geranium Trial

UbiGro Flower Case Study

AT A GLANCE

Results of this study show that plants under the UbiGro film flowered earlier and had more flower clusters when compared to plants under the Control film. 
32 Geranium Plants (Pelargonium x hortorum, bedding geraniums) The beautiful geraniums were grown from seed, and then moved to larger pots into the greenhouse where UbiGro was installed.
Pebble Labs Research Greenhouse The UbiGro research team performed this experiment in 2019. Pebble Labs Reasearch Greenhouse provided a space for the team to execute their own study of UbiGro.
Los Alamos, NM, USA

ABOUT THE PROJECT

UbiGro (600 nm) quantum dot greenhouse films were installed above a 6 ft x 12 ft (1.8 m x 7.3 m) movable bench inside the Pebble Labs Research Greenhouse (Rough Brothers, ~4,000 ft2, acrylic cover) in Los Alamos, NM, USA. An identical neighboring bench area in the greenhouse was chosen to serve as the Control group, over which a clear polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film was installed to balance the light intensities and diffusivities between the two areas. A Watchdog Plant Growth Micro Station with four quantum (PAR) light sensors was installed to measure daily light integral (DLI) on each side of the experiment using five-minute measurement spacing.
 
On December 15th, 2021, 48 bedding geraniums were grown from seed in a Pro-Mix, perlite, vermiculite and Oscmocote mixed media inside a seed starter dome inside of a greenhouse for 38 days until the seedlings developed two true leaves. The seedlings were then transplanted into 5 inch deep square pots and placed inside the greenhouse under natural lighting conditions, with a temperature ranging from 18°C at night to 23°C during the day, and humidity ranging from 20-45% (average 28%).
 
At 79 Days after sowing (DAS), the plants were transplanted for a second time into larger 2.5 gal (8.7 L) containers and placed under a 16 hour photoperiod using natural and supplemental lighting in the greenhouse. At 91 DAS, the plants were separated into two groups of 16 and placed under UbiGro and Control treatments for the remainder of the experiment. The experiment lasted 136 days from initial seeding to experimental conclusion and ended on April 30th. All crops were grown using an automated drip watering system and fertilized monthly with 1 tsp/plant of Osmocote applied as a topdress to the soil.
 
UbiGro Flower Case Study

FLOWERING

Once the plants started growing flower buds, flower cluster and flowering data were recorded. A plant was determined to be flowering if it had at least one completely open flower in a flower cluster. First flowering was observed April 4th, 110 DAS. By 131 DAS, all 16 plants on both sides exhibited flowers. The UbiGro side achieved full flowering (all 16 plants) three days sooner than the Control side, as shown in the figure below.

Each day, flower clusters were counted on each plant. A flower cluster was defined as a cluster protruding beyond the leaf canopy. There was a larger number of flower clusters under the UbiGro film treatment than the control film treatment, as shown in the figure below. The plants under the UbiGro treatment consistently had more flower clusters compared to plants under the control during the duration of the experiment. By the end of the experiment there were 119 flower clusters on plants under the UbiGro film and 98 flower clusters on those under the Control film, an improvement of 21% in flowering.

DLI BALANCE

Daily light integral (DLI) data was collected using sensors that were installed at approximately plant height from 121 DAS to the end of the experiment. While this date range does not encompass the entire experiment, this is a representative data set adequate to measure DLI balance. On average, the DLI difference between the two experimental sides was approximately one percent, with slightly more light on the UbiGro side. DLIs averaged 19 mol/m2/day.

In this experiment, the effects of the UbiGro luminescent film spectrum on the number of flower clusters and number of flowering plants amongst a group of bedding geraniums were studied by a comparison to plants grown under a Control film. Plants under both treatments started flowering at similar times, with plants under the UbiGro film showing increases in number of flowering clusters and percentage of flowering plants throughout the experiment. In general, plants under the UbiGro film flowered earlier and had more flower clusters when compared to plants under the Control film. These results suggest that the UbiGro luminescent film can promote moderately earlier flowering times and increases the number of flowers of bedding geraniums as compared to a Control group when grown under similar lighting and climate conditions.

Botanical Flower
Botanicals flowers

Acknowledgement*

 The Daily Light Integral (DLI) is the amount of photosynthetic light received in one square meter each day. The average DLI is a measure of the quantity of light received by a plant over a given duration.

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Hunter McDaniel CEO & Founder UbiGro

Hunter McDaniel, PhD

Founder & CEO

 Hunter earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, before joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Chemistry Division. Ultimately the value proposition of UbiGro is about boosting crop yields and quality without the cost or energy impact of lighting. Hunter has more than fifty publications and patents, and more than 2000 total citations, h-index: 20. Hunter fundamentally believes that novel materials underpin every significant technology advancement, and he is focused on leveraging new materials to have a lasting and sustainable impact.

Damon Hebert, PhD

Director of Agriculture

Damon brings a wide range of experience in agriculture, materials science, spectroscopy, and small business. During his time in Prof. Angus Rockett’s research group at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Hebert authored a doctoral thesis and multiple papers on the materials science of CIGS semiconductor materials, which is closely related to the materials developed at UbiQD. He also served as a consultant to Nanosolar, a CIGS nanocrystal solar cell manufacturing company. Hebert has industry experience having co-founded Dr. Jolly’s, a leading cultivation and distribution operation in Bend, OR.

Tania Lafaille

Sales Representative

Tania is a UbiGro Sales Representative, with over 7 years of experience in product sales (specifically berries and avocados) covering all of North America and parts of South America. While in agriculture, Tania has cultivated strong relationships with growers and distributors, granting her a unique insight into both perspectives. That understanding, paired with her fierce dedication to results, drives her fun and fiery commitment to her craft. Tania is based in Gilroy, CA.

Charles Parrish

Agricultural  Engineer

Charles earned a Bachelor’s in Biological Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master’s in Biosystems Engineering from The University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. Advised by Dr. Gene Giacomelli, Charles conducted his thesis on the “Optimization of Spectral Quality with Quantum Dots to Enhance Crop Yield in Controlled Environments.” Charles has a decade of biological engineering, greenhouse technology, and molecular biology experience from lab to production scale including working with the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He brings his experience in hydroponics, controlled environment systems design, photobiology, greenhouse engineering, and scientific outreach.

Jim Gideon

Sales Manager

Jim Gideon is an UbiGro Sales Manager, with over 25 years of greenhouse industry sales experience covering all of North America. Previously Jim has worked for Green Tek, Plazit-Polygal, Texel, Cherry Creek, and Nexus. He is based in Montgomery, AL, and Jim believes that “light is everything to the grower.”

Eric Moody

Director of Sales

Eric Moody is UbiQD’s Director of UbiGro Sales. Eric has more than 6 years of experience in horticulture lighting industry, building relationships with greenhouse growers of all sizes and crops on optimal lighting for their growing operation, and most recently managed a North American sales team for PL Light Systems. Overall, Eric has been in sales leadership positions for more than 13 years. Eric brings with him a great understanding of the market and available technologies for growers, greenhouse facilities, and sales leadership.

Mike Burrows, PhD

VP of Business Development

Dr. Michael Burrows is UbiQd’s Vice President of Business Development. His educational background includes a Materials Science doctorate from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Duke University Fuqua School of Business. His career has specialized in the commercialization of novel electronic materials in venture-run programs for different industries including solar, biosensors, and the automotive industry. In both start-up and corporate environments, he has extensive experience in global market development, foraging supply chain partnerships, productization, and brand building. He is currently leading UbiQD’s partnership efforts in luminescent greenhouse technology, smart windows, and security ventures.

Matt Bergern, PhD

Cheif Product Officer

As Chief Product Officer at UbiQD, Dr. Matt Bergren leads the company’s product development efforts, sales, and product manufacturing, including the company’s first commercial agriculture product, UbiGro. He plays a critical role in continuing the company’s path of technology development and vision of powering product innovations in agriculture, clean energy, and security.

He serves as the principal investigator for UbiQD’s contract with NASA, focused on tailoring the solar spectrum for enhanced crop production for space missions. Dr. Bergren’s leadership experience includes serving on the board of directors for the New Mexico Energy Manufacturing Institute, focused on job creation in New Mexico’s energy, and related manufacturing community.