Amanda Woolley


Education: Bachelor of Science in horticulture (May 2018)

McNair Project: Nutritional Quality of Lettuce and Spinach Grown in High Tunnels and Open Fields (2016)

Mentor: C.B. Rajashekar, Ph.D.

In this study, we examined the nutritional qualities of commonly cultivated leafy-vegetables, lettuce (Lactuca sativa, vars. New Red Fire and Two Star) and spinach (Spinacia oleracea, vars. Bloomsdale Long Standing and Avon Hybrid), grown in high tunnels and open field. Seeds of two cultivars of lettuce and spinach were germinated in plastic trays, containing Premier Promix soil medium, in growth chambers. After 2weeks, the plants were then transplanted into the open field and high tunnel. The experiment was conducted using a completely randomized block design (CRBD) with three replications. Each replication contained 12 seedlings. Under high tunnel, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was reduced by more than 15% while UVA was reduced by more than 30% and UVB by about half compared to the open field. Lettuce was harvested after 4 weeks and shoot and root biomass was measured. Samples were prepared for analyses of mineral composition and phytochemical content in the leaves. Due to high temperatures in the field during July, the seedling establishment in spinach was poor.