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Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages between geoponics, agar plates and three distinct aggregate hydroponics methods for cultivating arabidopsis plants

From: Protocol: optimising hydroponic growth systems for nutritional and physiological analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants

Parameter Geoponics (i.e. soil/sand) Agar plates Aggregate hydroponics
Polystyrene/ Rockwool Araponics© This system (Conn et al.)
Setup costs Low Low Low High Low
Running costs
Media Low Intermediate Low Intermediate Low
Equipment Low Intermediate Low Intermediate Low
Footprint Small Small Small Small-to- Intermediate* Small
Sterile culture No Yes No No No
Batch variability High Low Low Low Low
Experimental Flexibility Low Intermediate High High High
Contamination (algal, bacterial) Medium High High Low Low
Throughput High Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate
Root entanglement Yes Potential Yes Yes No
Developmental window Mature plants < 3 week-old seedlings Mature plants Mature plants Mature plants
  1. * Can use either the low or high density trays.
  2. The system presented in this manuscript is regarded as agar-based, aggregate hydroponics. Estimated setup costs for Araponics system is approximately US$4 per plant, while for the system presented in this paper is US$0.81 (based on 140 plants, pricing as per January 2013, http://www.araponics.com).