U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

Tomato seedling physiological responses under different percentages of blue and red photon flux ratios using LEDs and cool white fluorescent lamps

Hernández, Ricardo, Eguchi, Tomomi, Deveci, Murat, Kubota, Chieri
Scientia horticulturae 2016 v.213 pp. 270-280
anthocyanins, chlorophyll, climate, fluorescent lamps, growth chambers, hypocotyls, leaf area, leaves, photons, physiological response, plant growth, plant morphology, recipes, seedlings, tomatoes
Lamp spectral customization can be a strategy to achieve desirable plant characteristics when plants are grown under sole-source electric lighting. Vegetable transplants can be efficiently and economically grown under indoor-production systems with electrical lighting; however, species-specific light recipes have to be developed to improve plant growth, development and morphology, as well as to reduce electrical consumption. The objective of this study was to evaluate the growth and morphology of tomato transplants to a broad range of blue to red (B:R) photon flux (PF) ratios under LEDs and cool white fluorescent lamps (CWF). Tomato ‘Komeett’ and ‘Beaufort’ seedlings were grown in a climate control growth chamber. Using LEDs, seven light treatments with different blue (B), green (G) and red (R) PF ratios were used: 100R, 10B:90R, 20B:28G:52R, 30B:70R, 50B:50R, 75B:25R and 100B. In addition, a CWF treatment served as the control. Hypocotyl length of ‘Komeett’ decreased with the increase of percent B PF up to 75% B. Plant leaf area was 64–72% greater under treatments emitting both B and R PF than in the 100 B and 100 R treatments. Similarly, tomato ‘Komeett’ fresh mass, dry mass, leaf number and chlorophyll concentration was comparable among the treatments containing B and R PF and greater than in 100 B and 100 R treatments. However, plant compactness in the 30B:70R treatment was 42% greater than in the 10B:90R treatment. Anthocyanin concentration increased with the increase of percent B PF up to 75% B. Also, plants in 30B:70R and 50B:50R had 39% and 36% greater dry mass than in CWF, respectively. In addition, 30B:70R and 50B:50R LEDs had 172% greater growing efficacy (gkWh−1) than high output fluorescent lamps. The addition of G light did not have any effects on tomato physiological responses. ‘Beaufort’ plant morphology and growth were severely affected by intumescences development and intumescence severity decreased under higher percentages of B PF. In summary, 30B:70R, 50B:50R were the best spectrums to produce tomato seedlings under LEDs tested here; however, plant quality under CWF, 10B:90R, 20B:28G:52R, and 75B:25R was also acceptable.