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Open AccessArticle

Optimal LED Wavelength Composition for the Production of High-Quality Watermelon and Interspecific Squash Seedlings Used for Grafting

1
Department of Horticulture, Aristotle University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources Democritus University of Thrace, 68200 Nea Orestiada, Greece
3
Agris S.A., Kleidi, 59300 Imathia, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120870
Received: 25 November 2019 / Revised: 7 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 10 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of LED Lighting Based on Plant Physiological Principles)
Watermelon is cultivated worldwide and is mainly grafted onto interspecific squash rootstocks. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can be implemented as light sources during indoor production of both species and their spectral quality is of great importance. The objective of the present study was to determine the optimal emission of LEDs with wide wavelength for the production of watermelon and interspecific squash seedlings in a growth chamber. Conditions were set at 22/20 °C temperature (day/night), 16 h photoperiod, and 85 ± 5 μmol m−2 s−1 photosynthetic photon flux density. Illumination was provided by fluorescent (FL, T0) lamps or four LEDs (T1, T2, T3, and T4) emitting varying wide spectra. Watermelon seedlings had greater shoot length, stem diameter, cotyledon area, shoot dry weight-to-length (DW/L) ratio, and Dickson’s quality index (DQI) under T1 and T3, while leaf area and shoot dry weight (DW) had higher values under T1. Interspecific squash seedlings had greater stem diameter, and shoot and root DW under T1 and T3, while leaf and cotyledon areas were favored under T1. In both species, T0 showed inferior development. It could be concluded that a light source with high red emission, relatively low blue emission, and a red:far-red ratio of about 3 units seems ideal for the production of high-quality watermelon (scion) and interspecific squash (rootstock) seedlings. View Full-Text
Keywords: Citrullus lanatus; Cucurbita maxima × C. moschata; TZ-148; scion; rootstock; light-emitting diodes; photomorphogenesis; controlled environment agriculture; growth chamber Citrullus lanatus; Cucurbita maxima × C. moschata; TZ-148; scion; rootstock; light-emitting diodes; photomorphogenesis; controlled environment agriculture; growth chamber
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Bantis, F.; Koukounaras, A.; Siomos, A.S.; Radoglou, K.; Dangitsis, C. Optimal LED Wavelength Composition for the Production of High-Quality Watermelon and Interspecific Squash Seedlings Used for Grafting. Agronomy 2019, 9, 870.

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