CAES: Martin P.N. Gent

Martin P.N. Gent


Plant Physiology, Nutrition, Gas Exchange, Carbohydrate and Nitrogen Metabolism. Environment response of plants. Greenhouse vegetable production, Hydroponics, Mathematical modeling.



BA, with Honors in Chemistry, Oberlin College 1971

PhD, Physical Chemistry, Yale University 1975


Station Career:

Assistant Scientist 1978-1989

Associate Scientist 1989-2003

Agricultural Scientist 2004-2009

Emeritus Scientist 2009-current


Current research areas:

Dr. Gent applies plant physiology to horticultural crops such as tomato and salad greens to relate growth, yield, and tissue composition to environment and metabolism.  Currently, he is examining tissue composition of hydroponic lettuce and spinach in response to fertilizer concentrations and environment. He has examined the uptake and movement of elemental nutrients, carbon and nitrogen metabolites, and xenobiotics, in plants and is developing mathematical models to relate these processes to growth and metabolism.  He has developed models relating photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism to growth and yield of crop plants.


Past research:

The effect of partial saturation ebb&flow watering on growth and spread of disease in potted ornamentals grown in greenhouses. Carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, nutrient uptake, and rate of production in greenhouse tomato plants, as related to light, carbon dioxide and air and root zone temperature. Leaf and canopy photosynthesis of eggplant and potato affected by Verticillium wilt and other pests. Differences among wheat varieties in canopy photosynthesis and metabolism of sugars. The effects of growth regulator chemicals on growth and flowering of Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel.


Selected publications available from the author,


  • Gent, M.P.N and I. Seginer. 2012. A Carbohydrate Supply and Demand Model of Vegetative Growth: Response to Temperature and Light. Plant Cell Environment 35:1274-1286.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2012. Composition of hydroponic lettuce: Effect of time of day, plant size, and season. J. Sci. Food. Agric. 92:542-550.
  • Gent, M.P.N and R.J. McAvoy.2011. Water and Nutrient Uptake and Use Efficiency with Partial Saturation Ebb and Flow Watering. HortScience 46:791-798.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2011. Comparison of Diurnal Variation of Nitrate and Sugars in Lettuce and Predictions of a Model Based on Metabolism. Acta Horticulturae 893:739-745
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2008. Density and Duration of Shade Affect Water and Nutrient Use in Greenhouse Tomato. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 133:619-627.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2007. Effect of Degree and Duration of Shade on Quality of Greenhouse Tomato. HortScience 42:514-520.
  • Gent, M.P.N., J.C. White, B.D. Eitzer, M.J.I. Mattina. 2007. Modeling the Difference among Cucurbita in Uptake and Translocation of p,p'-dichlorophenyl-1,1-dichloroethylene. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 26:2476-2485.
  • Gent, M.P.N., J.C. White, Z.D. Parrish, M. Iseleyen,  B.D. Eitzer, M.J.I. Mattina. 2007. Uptake and Translocation of p,pí-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene supplied in Hydroponics Solution to Cucurbita. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 26:2467-2475.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2005. Effect of genotype, fertilization, and season on free amino acids in leaves of salad greens grown in high tunnels. J Plant Nutrition 28:1-14.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2004. Efficacy and persistence of paclobutrazol applied to rooted cuttings of rhododendron before transplant. HortScience 39:105-109.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2003. Effect of conductivity and nitrate supply ratio on nitrate accumulation in hydroponic lettuce. HortScience 38:222-227.
  • Gent, M.P.N. 2002. Growth and Composition of Salad Greens as affected by Organic Compared to Nitrate Fertilizer and Environment in High Tunnels.  J. Plant Nutrition 25:981-998.
  • Gent, M.P.N., Y-Z Ma. 2000. Growth and mineral nutrition of tomato seedlings under diurnal temperature variation of the root and shoot. Crop Science 40:1629-1636.
  • Gent, M.P.N., J.A. LaMondia, F.J. Ferrandino, W.H. Elmer, K.A. Stoner. 1999. The influence of compost amendment or straw mulch on the reduction of gas exchange in potato by Verticillium dahliae and Pratylendchus penetrans. Plant Disease 83:371-376.
  • Gent, M.P.N., Y-Z Ma. 1998. Diurnal temperature variation of the root and shoot affects yield of greenhouse tomato. HortScience 33:47-51.
  • Gent, M.P.N., R.K. Kiyomoto. 1998.  Physiological and agronomic consequences of Rht genes in wheat.  J. Crop Production 1:27-46.

Content Last Modified on 2/2/2018 9:56:55 AM