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Open AccessArticle

Blue and Red LED Illumination Improves Growth and Bioactive Compounds Contents in Acyanic and Cyanic Ocimum basilicum L. Microgreens

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Faculty of Food Engineering, Stefan Cel Mare University, Universitatii Street 13, 720229 Suceava, Romania
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CERNESIM Research Center, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Carol I Boulevard 20A, 700506 Iasi, Romania
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Interdisciplinary Research Department-Field Science, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Lascar Catargi 54, 700107 Iasi, Romania
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Faculty of Chemistry, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Carol I Boulevard 20A, 700506 Iasi, Romania
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Faculty of Biology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Carol I Boulevard 20A, 700506 Iasi, Romania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2111; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122111
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
Microgreens are an excellent source of health-maintaining compounds, and the accumulation of these compounds in plant tissues may be stimulated by exogenous stimuli. While light quality effects on green basil microgreens are known, the present paper aims at improving the quality of acyanic (green) and cyanic (red) basil microgreens with different ratios of LED blue and red illumination. Growth, assimilatory and anthocyanin pigments, chlorophyll fluorescence, total phenolic, flavonoids, selected phenolic acid contents and antioxidant activity were assessed in microgreens grown for 17 days. Growth of microgreens was enhanced with predominantly blue illumination, larger cotyledon area and higher fresh mass. The same treatment elevated chlorophyll a and anthocyanin pigments contents. Colored light treatments decreased chlorophyll fluorescence ΦPSII values significantly in the green cultivar. Stimulation of phenolic synthesis and free radical scavenging activity were improved by predominantly red light in the green cultivar (up to 1.87 fold) and by predominantly blue light in the red cultivar (up to 1.73 fold). Rosmarinic and gallic acid synthesis was higher (up to 15- and 4-fold, respectively, compared to white treatment) in predominantly blue illumination. Red and blue LED ratios can be tailored to induce superior growth and phenolic contents in both red and green basil microgreens, as a convenient tool for producing higher quality foods. View Full-Text
Keywords: basil; anthocyanins; light emitting diodes; chlorophyll fluorescence; phenolic acids basil; anthocyanins; light emitting diodes; chlorophyll fluorescence; phenolic acids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lobiuc, A.; Vasilache, V.; Oroian, M.; Stoleru, T.; Burducea, M.; Pintilie, O.; Zamfirache, M.-M. Blue and Red LED Illumination Improves Growth and Bioactive Compounds Contents in Acyanic and Cyanic Ocimum basilicum L. Microgreens. Molecules 2017, 22, 2111.

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