Special Issue "Applications and Advances in Artificial Light for Horticulture and Crop Production"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giedrė Samuolienė
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Horticulture, LT-54333 Babtai, Lithuania
Interests: photophysiology; physiology of plant productivity; metabolism; phytochemistry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Artificial lighting systems can be used for plant growth in controlled environment agriculture (CEA, also called protected horticulture). Their main function is to improve the quality and quantity of horticulture and crop production. The rapid development of lighting technologies using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has caused an increase in the application of this technology for horticulture cultivation systems. While the effects of artificial light properties on plant metabolism, growth, and development have been studied, authoritative and reliable data with respect to control over the light experience in terms of color, intensity, optical distribution, and changes in these factors over time across laboratories are inconsistent. Understanding and harnessing the impacts of artificial lighting on horticulture require long-term research efforts.

Therefore, for this Special Issue, articles (original research papers, perspectives, hypotheses, opinions, reviews, modeling approaches, and methods) that focus on horticulture and crop production and regulation, including topics related to biochemistry, physiology, genes, proteins, metabolites, nutrition, and environment with respect to substrate and nutrition, artificial light and temperature conditions, and growth stage at harvest, are most welcome.

Prof. Giedrė Samuolienė
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • light application techniques
  • photosynthetic photon flux
  • yield photon flux
  • secondary metabolism
  • specialized metabolism

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
Effect of Different Ratios of Blue and Red LED Light on Brassicaceae Microgreens under a Controlled Environment
Plants 2021, 10(4), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040801 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
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. [...] Read more.
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, our 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. We 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. Full article
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Article
Effect of Multispectral Pulsed Light-Emitting Diodes on the Growth, Photosynthetic and Antioxidant Response of Baby Leaf Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)
Plants 2021, 10(4), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040762 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
The effect of multicolor pulsed light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation on lettuce “Defender” growth, photosynthetic performance and antioxidant properties was studied. The experiments were designed to compare the continuous and pulsed lighting (0.5, 1 kHz; 50% duty ratio) effects of B450, G520, R660 and [...] Read more.
The effect of multicolor pulsed light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation on lettuce “Defender” growth, photosynthetic performance and antioxidant properties was studied. The experiments were designed to compare the continuous and pulsed lighting (0.5, 1 kHz; 50% duty ratio) effects of B450, G520, R660 and FR735 lighting components, maintaining total diurnal integral light quantity (DLI 14.4 mol m−2 day−1) constant during the 16-h photoperiod. The results showed that lettuce grown under pulsed irradiation displayed superior growth performance, including a significant enhancement of fresh (~32%) and dry biomass (~36%) and leaf area (~48%). Lettuce cultivated in both pulsed light treatments was characterized by the higher photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll (a,b) and carotenoid concentration. However, the total phenol and antioxidant properties in lettuce were more dependent on the specific pulsed light frequency. Only treatment with 1 kHz frequency was effective for higher phenol content, 2,20-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) free radical scavenging activity and Fe2+ reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). Thus, our results propose the role of pulsed LED light in improving the photosynthetic efficiency and antioxidative properties of lettuce plants cultivated indoors. In the future, pulsed lighting techniques should be included in the development of artificial lighting systems in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) to produce high-quality crops with the possibility to save electricity. Full article
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Article
Regulation of the Photon Spectrum on Growth and Nutritional Attributes of Baby-Leaf Lettuce at Harvest and during Postharvest Storage
Plants 2021, 10(3), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030549 - 14 Mar 2021
Viewed by 973
Abstract
The photon flux density (PFD) and spectrum regulate the growth, quality attributes, and postharvest physiology of leafy vegetables grown indoors. However, limited information is available on how a photon spectrum enriched with a broad range of different wavebands regulates these factors. To determine [...] Read more.
The photon flux density (PFD) and spectrum regulate the growth, quality attributes, and postharvest physiology of leafy vegetables grown indoors. However, limited information is available on how a photon spectrum enriched with a broad range of different wavebands regulates these factors. To determine this, we grew baby-leaf lettuce ‘Rouxai’ under a PFD of 200 µmol m−2 s−1 provided by warm-white (WW; control) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) supplemented with either 30 µmol m−2 s−1 of ultraviolet-A (+UV30) or 50 µmol m−2 s−1 of blue (+B50), green (+G50), red (+R50), or WW (+WW50) light. We then quantified growth attributes and accumulated secondary metabolites at harvest and during storage in darkness at 5 °C. Additional +G50 light increased shoot fresh and dry weight by 53% and 59% compared to the control. Relative chlorophyll concentration increased under +UV30, +G50, and especially +B50. At harvest, +B50 increased total phenolic content (TPC) by 25% and anthocyanin content (TAC) by 2.0-fold. Additionally, +G50 increased antiradical activity (DPPH) by 29%. After each day of storage, TPC decreased by 2.9 to 7.1% and DPPH by 3.0 to 6.2%, while TAC degradation was less pronounced. Principal component analysis indicated a distinct effect of +G50 on the lettuce at harvest. However, concentrations of metabolites before and during storage were usually greatest under the +B50 and +R50 treatments. Full article
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Article
Rapid Light-Response Curve of Chlorophyll Fluorescence in Terrestrial Plants: Relationship to CO2 Exchange among Five Woody and Four Fern Species Adapted to Different Light and Water Regimes
Plants 2021, 10(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030445 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
The rapid light response of electron transport rate (ETRR), obtained from chlorophyll fluorescence parameters by short illumination periods (10–30 s) at each light level, can provide a rapid and easy measurement of photosynthetic light response in plants. However, the relationship [...] Read more.
The rapid light response of electron transport rate (ETRR), obtained from chlorophyll fluorescence parameters by short illumination periods (10–30 s) at each light level, can provide a rapid and easy measurement of photosynthetic light response in plants. However, the relationship between ETRR and the steady-state light response of CO2 exchange rate (AS) of terrestrial plants has not been studied in detail. In this study, we compared the ETRR and AS for five woody and four fern species with different light and/or water adaptations. Under well-watered conditions, a constant temperature (25 °C) and with stomatal conductance (gs) not being a main limiting factor for photosynthesis, ETRR and AS were closely related, even when merging data for regression analysis for a species grown under different light conditions and measured under different light intensity and air humidity. However, when Alnus formosana was treated with low soil water and air humidity, because of the decrease in AS mainly due to stomatal closure, the ETRRAS relation was not so close. In addition, at both 100 and 2000 μmol m−2 s−1 photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), ETRR and AS were significantly correlated within a plant group (i.e., woody plants and ferns) regardless of the broad difference in AS due to different species or environmental factors. The results indicate that the relationship between the ETRR and AS is varied by species. We concluded that 1) ETRR could reflect the variation in AS at each irradiance level within a species under well-watered conditions and 2) ETRR at 100 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD (as the efficiency of light capture) or 2000 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD (as a maximum photosynthetic parameter) could be used to compare the photosynthetic capacity within a plant group, such as woody plants and ferns. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Supplementary LED Lighting on the Morphological and Physiological Traits of Miniature Rosa × Hybrida ‘Aga’ and the Development of Powdery Mildew (Podosphaera pannosa) under Greenhouse Conditions
Plants 2021, 10(2), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020417 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 809
Abstract
We investigated the growth traits, flower bud formation, photosynthetic performance, and powdery mildew development in miniature Rosa × hybrida ‘Aga’ plants grown in the greenhouse under different light-emitting diode (LED) light spectra. Fluorescence-based sensors that detect the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II [...] Read more.
We investigated the growth traits, flower bud formation, photosynthetic performance, and powdery mildew development in miniature Rosa × hybrida ‘Aga’ plants grown in the greenhouse under different light-emitting diode (LED) light spectra. Fluorescence-based sensors that detect the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PS II) as well as chlorophyll and flavonol indices were used in this study. Five different LED light treatments as a supplement to natural sunlight with red (R), blue (B), white (W), RBW+FR (far-red) (high R:FR), and RBW+FR (low R:FR) were used. Control plants were illuminated only by natural sunlight. Plants were grown under different spectra of LED lighting and the same photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) (200 µmol m−2 s−1) at a photoperiod of 18 h. Plants grown under both RBW+FR lights were the highest, and had the greatest total shoot length, irrespective of R:FR. These plants also showed the highest maximum quantum yield of PS II (average 0.805) among the light treatments. Red monochromatic light and RBW+FR at high R:FR stimulated flower bud formation. Moreover, plants grown under red LEDs were more resistant to Podosphaera pannosa than those grown under other light treatments. The increased flavonol index in plants exposed to monochromatic blue light, compared to the W and control plants, did not inhibit powdery mildew development. Full article
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Article
Continuous Light Does Not Compromise Growth and Yield in Mini-Cucumber Greenhouse Production with Supplemental LED Light
Plants 2021, 10(2), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020378 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
Continuous lighting (CL, 24 h) can reduce the light intensity/light capital costs used to achieve the desired amount of light for year-round greenhouse vegetable production in comparison to short photoperiods of lighting. However, growth under CL has led to leaf injury characterized by [...] Read more.
Continuous lighting (CL, 24 h) can reduce the light intensity/light capital costs used to achieve the desired amount of light for year-round greenhouse vegetable production in comparison to short photoperiods of lighting. However, growth under CL has led to leaf injury characterized by chlorosis unless a thermoperiod or alternating light spectrum during CL is used. To date, there is no literature relating to how cucumbers (Cucumissativus) respond to CL with LEDs in a full production cycle. Here, we evaluated a mini-cucumber cv. “Bonwell” grown under 4 supplemental lighting strategies: Treatment 1 (T1, the control) was 16 h of combined red light and blue light followed by 8 h of darkness. Treatment 2 (T2) had continuous (24 h) red light and blue light. Treatment 3 (T3) was 16 h of red light followed by 8 h of blue light. Treatment 4 (T4) was 12 h of red light followed by 12 h of blue light. All treatments had a supplemental daily light integral (DLI) of ~10 mol m−2 d−1. Plants from all treatments showed similar growth characteristics throughout the production cycle. However, plants grown under all three CL treatments had higher chlorophyll concentrations from leaves at the top of the canopy when compared to T1. The overall photosynthetic capacity, light use efficiency, and photosynthetic parameters related to light response curves (i.e., dark respiration, light compensation point, quantum yield, and photosynthetic maximum), as well as the quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII; Fv/Fm) were similar among the treatments. Plants grown under all CL treatments produced a similar yield compared to the control treatment (T1). These results indicate that mini-cucumber cv. “Bonwell” is tolerant to CL, and CL is a viable and economical lighting strategy for mini-cucumber production. Full article
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Article
Production of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Seed Tuber under Artificial LED Light Irradiation in Plant Factory
Plants 2021, 10(2), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020297 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
Plant production in a plant factory is an innovative and smart idea to grow food anytime, anywhere, regardless of the outer environment. However, potato pre-basic seed tuber (PBST) production in a plant factory is a comparatively new initiative. Therefore, the aim of this [...] Read more.
Plant production in a plant factory is an innovative and smart idea to grow food anytime, anywhere, regardless of the outer environment. However, potato pre-basic seed tuber (PBST) production in a plant factory is a comparatively new initiative. Therefore, the aim of this study was to optimize the artificial LED light spectrum to produce PBST in a plant factory. Two potato varieties such as Golden king (V48) and Chungang (V41) were grown in soil substrate under different combination of artificial LED light combinations (such as red+blue+far-red, red+blue+white, blue+far-red, blue+white, red+far-red, and red+white) maintaining photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 100 mol m−2s−1, temperature 23/15 °C (day/night), and relative humidity 70%. The study revealed that, overall, potato plant growth (viz.; plant height, node number, leaf number, leaf length and width, fresh and dry weight) was enhanced by the red+far red light for both potato varieties. The total seed tuber number per plant was higher in red+blue+white light for V48, and red+far-red for V41. The fresh tuber weight was the highest in the red+blue+far-red light for V48 and red+blue+white for V41. The highest accumulated photosynthetic pigment (total Chlorophyll, Chlorophyll a, b and Carotenoid) was observed in red+blue+white light for both varieties. The total carbohydrate content and total sucrose content were higher in red+blue+far red and red +far red light treatment for V48 and V41, respectively. Finally, considering all factors, it is concluded that the red+blue+white light combination is deemed to be appropriate for the potato PBST production in plant factory conditions. Full article
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Article
Supplemental Far-Red Light Stimulates Lettuce Growth: Disentangling Morphological and Physiological Effects
Plants 2021, 10(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010166 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Light-emitting diodes allow for the application of specific wavelengths of light to induce various morphological and physiological responses. In lettuce (Lactuca sativa), far-red light (700–800 nm) is integral to initiating shade responses which can increase plant growth. In the first of [...] Read more.
Light-emitting diodes allow for the application of specific wavelengths of light to induce various morphological and physiological responses. In lettuce (Lactuca sativa), far-red light (700–800 nm) is integral to initiating shade responses which can increase plant growth. In the first of two studies, plants were grown with a similar photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) but different intensities of far-red light. The second study used perpendicular gradients of far-red light and PPFD, allowing for examination of interactive effects. The far-red gradient study revealed that increasing supplemental far-red light increased leaf length and width, which was associated with increased projected canopy size (PCS). The higher PCS was associated with increased cumulative incident light received by plants, which increased dry matter accumulation. In the perpendicular gradient study, far-red light was 57% and 183% more effective at increasing the amount of light received by the plant, as well as 92.5% and 162% more effective at increasing plant biomass at the early and late harvests, respectively, as compared to PPFD. Light use efficiency (LUE, biomass/mol incident light) was generally negatively correlated with specific leaf area (SLA). Far-red light provided by LEDs increases the canopy size to capture more light to drive photosynthesis and shows promise for inclusion in the growth light spectrum for lettuce under sole-source lighting. Full article
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Article
Light Quality Affected the Growth and Root Organic Carbon and Autotoxin Secretions of Hydroponic Lettuce
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1542; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111542 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Light is a crucial environmental signal and photosynthetic energy for plant growth, development, and primary and secondary metabolism. To explore the effects of light quality on the growth and root exudates of hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), white LED (W, control) and [...] Read more.
Light is a crucial environmental signal and photosynthetic energy for plant growth, development, and primary and secondary metabolism. To explore the effects of light quality on the growth and root exudates of hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), white LED (W, control) and four the mixtures of red (R) and blue (B) LED with different R/B light intensity ratios (R/B = 2, 2R1B; R/B = 3, 3R1B; R/B = 4, 4R1B; and R/B = 8, 8R1B) were designed. The results showed that the biomass of lettuce under 8R1B and W treatments was higher than that under other light quality treatments. The photosynthetic rate (Pn) under red and blue light was significantly higher than that of white light. Total root length, root surface area, and root volume were the highest under 8R1B. 4R1B treatment significant increased root activity by 68.6% compared with W. In addition, total organic carbon (TOC) content, TOC content/shoot dry weight, TOC content/root dry weight, and TOC content/root surface area were the highest under 4R1B. Moreover, 8R1B treatment reduced the concentration of benzoic acid and salicylic acid, and the secretion ability of benzoic acid and salicylic acid by per unit root surface area and accumulation by per unit shoot dry weight. In addition, 2R1B and 3R1B reduced the secretion ability of gallic acid and tannic acid by per unit root surface area and accumulation by per unit shoot dry weight. In conclusion, this study showed that the secretion of autotoxins could be reduced through the mediation of red and blue light composition of LEDs in a plant factory. In terms of autotoxin secretion reduction efficiency and yield performance of lettuce, 8R1B light regime is recommended for practical use. Full article
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Article
Longer Photoperiods with the Same Daily Light Integral Increase Daily Electron Transport through Photosystem II in Lettuce
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091172 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
Controlled environment crop production recommendations often use the daily light integral (DLI) to quantify the light requirements of specific crops. Sole-source electric lighting, used in plant factories, and supplemental electric lighting, used in greenhouses, may be required to attain a specific DLI. Electric [...] Read more.
Controlled environment crop production recommendations often use the daily light integral (DLI) to quantify the light requirements of specific crops. Sole-source electric lighting, used in plant factories, and supplemental electric lighting, used in greenhouses, may be required to attain a specific DLI. Electric lighting is wasteful if not provided in a way that promotes efficient photochemistry. The quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦPSII), the fraction of absorbed light used for photochemistry, decreases with increasing photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). Thus, we hypothesized that the daily photochemical integral (DPI), the total electron transport through photosystem II (PSII) integrated over 24 h, would increase if the same DLI was provided at a lower PPFD over a longer photoperiod. To test this, ΦPSII and the electron transport rate (ETR) of lettuce (Lactuca sativa ‘Green Towers’) were measured in a growth chamber at DLIs of 15 and 20 mol m−2 d−1 over photoperiods ranging from 7 to 22 h. This resulted in PPFDs of 189 to 794 μmol m−2 s−1. The ΦPSII decreased from 0.67 to 0.28 and ETR increased from 55 to 99 μmol m−2 s−1 as PPFD increased from 189 to 794 μmol m−2 s−1. The DPI increased linearly as the photoperiod increased, but the magnitude of this response depended on DLI. With a 7-h photoperiod, the DPI was ≈2.7 mol m−2 d−1, regardless of DLI. However, with a 22-h photoperiod, the DPI was 4.54 mol m−2 d−1 with a DLI of 15 mol m−2 d−1 and 5.78 mol m−2 d−1 with a DLI of 20 mol m−2 d−1. Our hypothesis that DPI can be increased by providing the same DLI over longer photoperiods was confirmed. Full article
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Article
Quality of Supplementary Morning Lighting (SML) During Propagation Period Affects Physiology, Stomatal Characteristics, and Growth of Strawberry Plants
Plants 2020, 9(5), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050638 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
Artificial light supplementation is widely used in modern agriculture. Due to their numerous advantages, light emitting diodes (LEDs) are widely used to effectively increase the yield or control the development of crops. In the present study, the effects of supplementary morning lighting (SML) [...] Read more.
Artificial light supplementation is widely used in modern agriculture. Due to their numerous advantages, light emitting diodes (LEDs) are widely used to effectively increase the yield or control the development of crops. In the present study, the effects of supplementary morning lighting (SML) with LEDs on the physiology and stomatal characteristics of strawberry plants were studied, with the aim of awakening the plant guard cells before sunrise and enabling strawberry plants to efficiently photosynthesize immediately after sunrise. Young daughter plants of ‘Maehyang’ and ‘Seolhyang’ strawberry cultivars that have just rooted were grown under LEDs with different wavelengths—white (W), red (R), mixed blue and red (BR, 1:1), and blue (B)—to investigate the effects of the SML on the physiology, stomatal characteristics, and growth. The SML was provided for 2 h at an intensity of 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 PPFD before sunrise every morning. A group without supplementary lighting was set as the control. The results showed that the different SML qualities have significantly affected the stomatal characteristics. The B SML promoted the stomatal opening more effectively compared to the other SMLs. The stomatal conductance and quantum yield (Fv/Fm) of leaves treated with the SMLs were higher than those of the control group. The B and BR SMLs most significantly affected the stomatal conductance and quantum yield (Fv/Fm). After 30 days of the SML treatments, it was observed that the B SML effectively improved the plant quality, chlorophyll content, and carbohydrate accumulation in the two strawberry cultivars. In general, a short-term exposure to blue light before sunrise can effectively improve the quality and promote the production of strawberry plants. Full article
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