Effect of Duration of LED Lighting on Growth, Photosynthesis and Respiration in Lettuce

Plants (Basel). 2023 Jan 18;12(3):442. doi: 10.3390/plants12030442.


Parameters of illumination including the spectra, intensity, and photoperiod play an important role in the cultivation of plants under greenhouse conditions, especially for vegetables such as lettuce. We previously showed that illumination by a combination of red, blue, and white LEDs with a high red light intensity, was optimal for lettuce cultivation; however, the effect of the photoperiod on lettuce cultivation was not investigated. In the current work, we investigated the influence of photoperiod on production (total biomass and dry weight) and parameters of photosynthesis, respiration rate, and relative chlorophyll content in lettuce plants. A 16 h (light):8 h (dark) illumination regime was used as the control. In this work, we investigated the effect of photoperiod on total biomass and dry weight production in lettuce plants as well as on photosynthesis, respiration rate and chlorophyll content. A lighting regime 16:8 h (light:dark) was used as control. A shorter photoperiod (8 h) decreased total biomass and dry weight in lettuce, and this effect was related to the suppression of the linear electron flow caused by the decreasing content of chlorophylls and, therefore, light absorption. A longer photoperiod (24 h) increased the total biomass and dry weight, nevertheless an increase in photosynthetic processes, light absorption by leaves and chlorophyll content was not recorded, nor were differences in respiration rate, thus indicating that changes in photosynthesis and respiration are not necessary conditions for stimulating plant production. A simple model to predict plant production was also developed to address the question of whether increasing the duration of illumination stimulates plant production without inducing changes in photosynthesis and respiration. Our results indicate that increasing the duration of illumination can stimulate dry weight accumulation and that this effect can also be induced using the equal total light integrals for day (i.e., this stimulation can be also caused by increasing the light period while decreasing light intensity). Increasing the duration of illumination is therefore an effective approach to stimulating lettuce production under artificial lighting.

PMID:36771527 | DOI:10.3390/plants12030442


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