A solution for the cationic [sup+]/anionic [sup-] balance problem in mineral nutrition studies

Randall P. Niedz, Terence J. Evens


Designing culture media for mineral nutrition studies is a complicated problem. In order to change the concentration of a single cation or anion it is generally necessary to change the complementary cat-/anion of a salt complex. Consequently, it often becomes necessary to simultaneously alter both the type and/or concentration of multiple salts to achieve a final set of media that differ only in the concentration of a single ion; when the objective is to alter the concentration of multiple ions the problem's complexity is increased exponentially. The cationic[sup+]/anionic[sup-] balance problem is easily solved by linear programming (LP), a technique of applied mathematics devised specifically for solving a wide range of practical, complex, resource allocation problems such as scheduling, mixing, blending, and routing. The cationic[sup+]/anionic[sup-] balance problem, how it is easily solved using LP techniques, and a public domain software program designed for nutrient formulation research will be presented.


plant tissue culture; culture medium; linear programming; software

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283