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YPIE Scientist: Stephanie Barros

Updated: May 31

Research: Does the use of Vitamin C & B1 decrease the severity of Fusarium wilt symptoms in hydroponically grown tomato plants?​

Awards: Somers Science Fair- 3rd place award, “Plant Science” category


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a popular crop grown across the region. Fusarium wilt is a common pathogenetic fungal disease that has negatively affected tomato crop production worldwide. This disease originates from the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum, which has affected many other plants, primarily food crops. Pathogenetic diseases are more likely to spread through plants as tomato production methods rely on soil-based cultivation. Hydroponic systems are a soilless cultivation technique that provides an alternative and efficient way for sustainable growth and increased crop yields. ​​This study aims to assess the potential of using Vitamin C and B1 supplementation in mitigating the severity of Fusarium wilt symptoms in hydroponic cherry tomato plants. A controlled experiment was conducted where cherry tomato plants were grown hydroponically and inoculated with Fusarium wilt. The experimental group received regular supplementation of Vitamin C and B1, while the control group did not. Parameters such as plant height, leaf chlorosis, wilting, and disease severity were monitored over a specified period. Initial results suggest that the use of Vitamin C and B1 may lead to a reduction in the severity of Fusarium wilt symptoms in hydroponic cherry tomato plants. Plants will be monitored for any symptoms of the disease and measured for their growth and yield. Hydroponically growing tomato plants in Yonkers eliminates the need for transporting them and emitting harmful gasses into the air. The results of this study will help in the development of strategies for controlling Fusarium wilt, in future tomato production and will provide insights into the resilience of tomato plants to this disease through the use of hydroponic systems. This study aims to test the resilience of cherry tomato plants to Fusarium wilt, using hydroponics to improve crop production and reduce economic losses for farmers.

About this Scientist:

Stephanie Barros is a Junior at Yonkers High School, Stephanie Barros intends to pursue a career in the STEM field. She was always interested in reading many scientific reports on various topics, specifically fungal diseases in fruit plants. She has designed her project involving building hydroponic systems and analyzing plant physiology. In college, Stephanie wants to continue her scientific research

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