Study on effect of different ratios of blue and red LED light on Brassicaceae microgreens

The consumption of microgreens has increased due to their having higher levels of bioactive compounds and mineral nutrients than mature plants. The lighting conditions during the cultivation of microgreens, if optimally selected, can have a positive effect by further increasing their nutritional value.

Thus, the study aimed to determine the changes in mineral nutrients contents of Brassicaceae microgreens depending on different blue–red (B:R) light ratios in light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and to evaluate their growth and nutritional value according to different indexes. Experiments were performed in controlled environment growth chambers at IH LRCAF, 2020. Microgreens of mustard (Brassica juncea ‘Red Lace’) and kale (Brassica napus ‘Red Russian’) were grown hydroponically under different B:R light ratios: 0%B:100%R, 10%B:90%R, 25%B:75%R, 50%B:50%R, 75%B:25%R, and 100%B:0%R. A 220 μmol m−2 s−1 total photon flux density (TPFD), 18 h photoperiod, 21/17 ± 2 °C temperature and 60% ± 5% relative humidity in the growth chamber were maintained during cultivation.

The team observed that an increasing percentage of blue light in the LED illumination spectrum during growth was associated with reduced elongation in the microgreens of both species and had a positive effect on the accumulation of mostly macro-and micronutrients. However, different B:R light ratios indicate a species-dependent response to changes in growth parameters such as leaf area, fresh and dry mass, and optical leaf indexes such as for chlorophyll, flavonol, anthocyanin, and carotenoid reflectance.

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