Indoor crop cultivation systems such as vertical farms or plant factories necessitate artificial lighting. Light spectral quality can affect plant growth and metabolism and, consequently, the amount of biomass produced and the value of the produce. Conflicting results on the effects of the light spectrum in different plant species and cultivars make it critical to implement a singular lighting solution. In this study, the research team investigated the response of cyanic and acyanic lettuce cultivars to an increased proportion of blue light.
For that, the research team selected a green and a red leaf lettuce cultivar (i.e., ‘Aquino,’ CVg, and ‘Barlach,’ CVr, respectively). The response of both cultivars to the long-term blue-enriched light application compared to a white spectrum was analyzed. Plants were grown for 30 days in a growth chamber with optimal environmental conditions (temperature: 20 °C, relative humidity: 60%, ambient CO2, photon flux density (PFD) of 260 µmol m−2 s−1 over an 18 h photoperiod). At 15 days after sowing (DAS), white spectrum LEDs (WW) were compared to blue-enriched light (WB; λPeak = 423 nm), maintaining the same PFD of 260 µmol m−2 s−1. At 30 DAS, both lettuce cultivars adapted to the blue light variant, though the adaptive response was specific to the variety.
The rosette weight, light use efficiency, and maximum operating efficiency of PSII photochemistry in the light, Fv/Fm’, were comparable between the two light treatments. A significant light quality effect was detected on stomatal density and conductance (20% and 17% increase under WB, respectively, in CVg) and on the modified anthocyanin reflectance index (mARI) (40% increase under WB, in CVr). Net photosynthesis response was generally stronger in CVg compared to CVr; e.g., net photosynthetic rate, Pn, at 1000 µmol m−2 s−1 PPFD increased from WW to WB by 23% in CVg, compared to 18% in CVr. The results obtained suggest the occurrence of distinct physiological adaptive strategies in green and red pigmented lettuce cultivars to adapt to the higher proportion of blue light environment.
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Cammarisano, L.; Körner, O. Response of Cyanic and Acyanic Lettuce Cultivars to an Increased Proportion of Blue Light. Biology 2022, 11, 959. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11070959