Surety Hood Culture of Plants for Agent-Plant Investigations
Technical Report,01 May 2014,30 Sep 2016
ARMY EDGEWOOD CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL CENTER APG MD ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND United States
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We developed methods for investigating chemical warfare agent plant interactions within a surety hood using live plants to maintain phytophysiological responses and obtain results applicable to contaminated battlefields. We selected VX O-ethyl-S-2-diisoproylaminoethyl methyl phosphorothionate and the grass plant Echinochloa crus-galli for the initial research. Grass is the most-prevalent higher plant worldwide, and natural distribution of E. crus-galli is one of the largest. Plant culture under controlled environmental conditions typically involves balancing heat loads with large chilling units too cumbersome for most surety hoods. We installed and tested a system of high-output, low-heat light-emitting diodes to supply high-quality photo synthetically active radiation PAR. Environmental conditions within the surety hood were 300350 mol s1 m2 PAR, 16 h light8 h dark, 21 C, and relative humidity 50 10. We successfully established critical parameters for assessing VX threat on natural environment battlefields, including visual characterization of VX effects on grass foliage, coefficient of VX wash-off from rainfall, contact transfer of VX from foliage onto army combat, and persistence and effective half-life of VX on grass foliage. These results provide critical parameter input for predictive models, direct experimental determinations for comparison of model outcomes, and information for decision-making affecting soldiers.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare