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SALSA - space and advanced life support agricuture

University of Guelph!
School of Environmental Sciences
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Youbin Zheng

Smiling Youbin Zheng photo

Youbin Zheng PhD, MPhil, MAg, BAg.
Associate Professor, Environmental Horticulture Chair
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph

My research serves the greenhouse floriculture production, nursery production, greenhouse vegetable production, green roof and space advanced life support industries. Research Interests:
  • Growing substrates: development and evaluation of sustainable (i.e. biodegradable and recyclable) substrates for green roof, greenhouse and nursery applications
  • Irrigation: development and evaluation of sensor-based automated irrigation systems to balance water, oxygen and nutrient within the plant root zone and to improve water use efficiency
  • Plant nutrition and fertilization: research and application of technologies related to hydroponic nutrient recirculation, low nutrient strategies in greenhouse production, and fertilization systems for nursery production, green roof plant production and green roof plant maintenance, as well as organic and alternative fertilizer products
  • Disinfection technologies (e.g. electrolytically generated copper ion, ozone, chlorine etc) for water, nutrient solution and facilities in greenhouse and other controlled environment production systems (e.g. advanced life support system, nursery)
  • Root zone oxygenation: research and application of root zone oxygenation technologies to reduce disease while improving plant physiology and growth
  • Lighting for plant production in greenhouse and controlled environment (e.g. home);
  • Plant growth regulators: research and application of plant growth regulators [(e.g. Ethephon (Ethrel)] in ornamental plant production
  • CO2 enrichment and its effects on photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, nutrient uptake and crop production;
  • Medicinal and Nutraceutical crops: development and evaluation of new technologies for producing medicinal and nutraceutical crops (e.g. bitter melon, echinacea and St. John's wort) in greenhouse and controlled environment systems
  • Plant stress physiology: including plant response to O3, SO2, NOx, acid precipitation, water, heat, nutrient and heavy metal etc
  • Other research topics of interest: organic greenhouse production and urban agriculture, etc.
  • Contact: Tel: (519) 824-4120 Ext. 52741
    Fax: (519) 837-0442
    Email: yzheng@uoguelph.ca


    Rozema E, Gordon RJ and Zheng Y. 2015. Does harvest frequency of wetland plants enhance the removal of Na+ and Cl- ions from a greenhouse nutrient solution? Water, Air and Soil Pollution (Submitted).

    Rozema ER, Rozema LR, and Zheng Y. 2015. A vertical flow constructed wetland for the treatment of winery process water and domestic sewage in Ontario, Canada: six years of performance data. Ecological Engineering. 86: 262-268.

    Clark MJ and Y Zheng. 2015. Containerized shrubs respond differently to controlled-release fertilizer rates in a temperate climate. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 33 (2): 66-75.

    Clark MJ and Y Zheng. 2015. Use of species-specific controlled-release fertilizer rates to manage growth and quality of container nursery crops. HortTechnology. 25(3): 370-379.

    Kong Y and Y Zheng. 2015 Suaeda glauca can be Produced Hydroponically at Moderate NaCl Salinity. HortScience. 50(6): 847-850.

    Dunets CS and Y Zheng. 2015. Combined precipitation/flocculation method for nutrient recovery from greenhouse wastewater. HortScience. 50(6):921–926.

    Clark MJ and Y Zheng. 2015. Species-specific fertilization can benefit container nursery crop production. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 95: 251-262.

    Dunets CS, Zheng Y and Dixon M. 2015. Use of phosphorus-sorbing materials to remove phosphate from greenhouse wastewater. Environmental Technology . 36: 1759–1770.

    Argo E and Y Zheng. 2014. Controlled-release fertilizer application rates for one-gallon container nursery crop production in southwestern Ontario, Canada. HortScience. 49:1414-1423.

    Clark MJ and Zheng Y. 2014. Fertilizer rate influences production scheduling of sedum-vegetated green roof mats. Ecological Engineering. 71: 644-650.

    Rozema E, Gordon R and Zheng Y. 2014. Plant species for the removal of Na+ and Cl- from greenhouse nutrient solution. HortScience. 49(8):1071–1075.

    Kong Y and Zheng Y. 2014. Potential of producing Salicornia bigelovii hydroponically as a vegetable at moderate NaCl salinity. HortScience. 49(9):1154–1157 .

    Dunets CS and Zheng Y. 2014. Removal of phosphate from greenhouse wastewater using hydrated lime. Environmental Technology. 35(22):2852-2862.

    Kong Y, Rozema E and Zheng Y. 2014. The Effects of NaCl on calcium-deficiency disorder vary with symptom development stage and cultivar in hydroponic purslane. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 94(7): 1195-1201

    Clark MJ and Zheng Y. 2014. Effect of fertilizer rate on plant growth and leachate nutrient content during production of sedum-vegetated green roof modules. HortScience. 49(6):819–826.

    Clark MJ and Zheng Y. 2014. Fertilizer rate and type affect sedum-vegetated green roof mat plant performance and leachate nutrient content. HortScience. 49: 328-335.

    Kong Y and Zheng Y. 2014. Hydroponic production of purslane as a sodium-removing vegetable in NaCl-rich nutrient solution. HortScience: 49:201-206.

    Llewellyn D, Zheng Y and Dixon M. 2013. Survey of how Hanging Baskets Influence the Light Environment at Lower Crop Level in Ornamental Greenhouses in Ontario. HortTechnology. 23: 823-829.

    Clark MJ and Zheng Y. 2013. Plant nutrition requirements for an installed sedum-vegetated green roof module system: effects of fertilizer rate and type on plant growth and leachate nutrient content. HortScience. 48:1173–1180.

    Vinson K and Zheng Y. 2013. Green roof plant suitability analysis for northern climates. HortTechnology. 23: 263-274.

    Tian X and Zheng Y. 2013. Evaluation of biological control agents for Fusarium wilt in Hiemalis begonia. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology: 35 (3): 363-370.

    Zheng Y and MJ Clark. 2013. Optimal growing substrate pH for five Sedum species. HortScience. 48:448–452. (Won the North America 2014 Green Roof and Wall Research Award of Excellence)

    Tian X and Zheng Y. 2013. Compost teas and reused greenhouse nutrient solution suppress several plant pathogens in vitro. HortScience. 48:510–512.

    Dombrowsky M, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2013. Sustainable growing substrates for potted greenhouse gerbera production . Acta Horticulturae. 982:61-68

    Clark MJ and Zheng Y. 2012. Evaluating Fertilizer Influence on Overwintering Survival and Growth of Sedum Species in a Fall-Installed Green Roof . HortScience. 47:1775-1781.

    Tian X, Zheng Y, Chintaluri K and Meng B. 2012. First Report of Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus on Hiemalis Begonia (Begonia × hiemalis) in Canada. Plant Disease, 97 (2): 291.

    Tian X, Zheng Y and Dixon M. 2012. Susceptibility of various potted begonias to Fusarium foetens. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 34: 248-254.

    Labrosse KJ, Corry RC and Zheng Y. 2011. Tree stabilization systems and their effects on tree health for improved tree planting specifications. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. 37: 219-225.

    Zheng Y, Ferguson G and Dixon M. 2011. Organic Greenhouse Vegetable Production in Canada: Challenges and Opportunities. Acta Horticulturea, 893: 1195-1200.

    Lafrenière C, Surrage V, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2011. Evaluation of zeolite as a component in organic growing substrates for tomato transplant production. Acta Horticulturea, 893: 1215-1222.

    Zheng Y, Cayanan DF and Dixon M. 2010. Optimum feeding nutrient solution concentration for greenhouse potted miniature rose production in a recirculating subirrigation system. HortScience. 45: 1738-1383.

    Tian XL, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2010. First report of Hiemalis Begonias wilt disease caused by Fusarium 1 foetens in Canada. Plant Disease 94: 1261.

    Surrage VA, Lafrenière C, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2010. Benefits of vermicompost as a constituent of growing substrates used in the production of organic greenhouse tomatoes. HortScience. 45: 1510-1515.

    Zheng Y, Wang L, Cayanan DF and Dixon M. 2010. Greenhouse Cucumber growth and yield response to copper application. HortScience. 45: 771 – 774.

    Huber J, Zheng Y and Dixon M. 2009. Hydroponic cucumber production using a new recyclable growth substrate and irrigation system. Acta Horticulturea. 843: 303-310.

    Zheng Y, Huber J, Zhang P and Dixon M. 2009. Searching for recyclable or biodegradable growing media. Acta Horticulturae. 819:435-442.

    Graham T, Zheng Y, Zhang P, Dixon D. 2009. Phytotoxicity of Aqueous Ozone Irrigation Solutions on Five Economically Significant Perennial Nursery Species. HortScience. 44:774–780.

    Cayanan DF, Llewellyn J, Dixon M and Zheng Y 2009. Response of Container-Grown Nursery Plants to Chlorine used to Disinfect Irrigation Water. HortScience. 44(1): 164-167.

    Cayanan DF, Zhang P, Liu W, Dixon M and Zheng Y, 2009. Efficacy of Using Chlorine in Controlling Five Common Plant Diseases in Irrigation Water. HortScience. 44 (1): 157-163.

    Zheng Y, Dombrowsky M and Dixon M. 2009. The use of compost or composting process to suppress Pythium Aphanitdermatum in used rockwool. Acta Horticulturea. 843: 327-332.

    Blom T, Kerec D and Zheng Y. 2009. How to optimize the uptake of phosphorous in potted plants. HortScience. 44:994.

    Kennedy C, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2009. Irrigation optimization based on physiological response of potted Chrysanthemum morifolium under greenhouse conditions. HortScience. 44:1065.

    Zheng Y. and Dixon, M. 2009. Nursery and greenhouse water use, water conservation strategies and treatment technologies. HortScience. 44:993.

    Robinson S, Zheng Y, Graham, T and Dixon, M. 2008. Aqueous ozone can extend vase life in cut rose. Journal of Horticulture and Biotechnology. 84: 97-101.

    Blom T and Zheng Y. 2008. The response of plant growth and leaf gas exchange to the speed of lamp movement in a greenhouse Scientia Horticulturae. 119:188-192.

    Cayanan DF, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2008. Development of an automated irrigation system using wireless technology and root zone environment sensors. Acta Horticulturae 797: 167-171.

    Cayanan DF, Zheng Y, Chong C, Zhang P, Graham T, Llewellyn J and Dixon M. 2008. Overhead Irrigation with Chlorinated Water on Five Container-Grown Nursery Species. HortScience 43:1882-1887.

    Zheng Y, Wang L, Martinez S and Dixon M. 2008. Nutrient solution oxygenation in soilless production. HortScience 43: 1134.

    Robinson S, Dixon M and Zheng Y. 2007. The Site of Vascular Blockage That Leads to Reduced Shelf-life in Cut Roses. Journal of Horticulture and Biotechnology 82:808-814.

    Zheng Y., Wang L and Dixon M. 2007. A threshold for elevated root zone oxygen for tomato. Scientia Horticulturae 113:162-165.

    Cayanan DF, Zheng Y, Chong C, Graham T, Zhang P, Llewellyn J, Liu W and Dixon M. 2007. Responses of five nursery plant species to chlorinated water and efficacy of using chlorine to control diseases in irrigation water. HortScience. 42:861.
    Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility | Ontario Agricultural College
    University of Guelph | Guelph | Ontario | Canada | N1G2W1
    PHONE: 519.824.4120 EXT 52909
    FAX: 519.837.0442