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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01114

Alternating Red and Blue Light-Emitting Diodes Allows for Injury-Free Tomato Production with Continuous Lighting

 Jason Lanoue1, 2, Jingming Zheng1,  Celeste Little1, Alyssa Thibodeau1,  Bernard Grodzinski2 and  Xiuming Hao1*
  • 1Harrow Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada
  • 2Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Canada

Plant biomass is largely dictated by the total amount of light intercepted by the plant (daily light integral (DLI) – intensity × photoperiod). Continuous light (CL, 24h lighting) has been hypothesized to increase plant biomass and yield if CL does not cause any injury. However, lighting longer than 18h causes leaf injury in tomato characterized by interveinal chlorosis and yield is no longer increased with further photoperiod extension in tomatoes. Our previous research indicated the response of cucumbers to long photoperiod of lighting varies with light spectrum. Therefore, we set out to examine greenhouse tomato production under supplemental CL using an alternating red (200µmol m-2 s-1, 06:00-18:00) and blue (50µmol m-2 s-1, 18:00-06:00) spectrum in comparison to a 12h supplemental lighting treatment with a red/blue mixture (200µmol m-2 s-1 red + 50µmol m-2 s-1 blue, 06:00-18:00) at the same DLI. Our results indicate that tomato plants grown under supplemental CL using the red and blue alternating spectrum were injury-free. Furthermore, parameters related to photosynthetic performance (i.e., Pn¬max, quantum yield, and Fv/Fm) were similar between CL and 12h lighting treatments indicating no detrimental effect of growth under CL. Leaves under CL produced higher net carbon exchange rates (NCER) during the subjective night period (18:00-06:00) compared to plants grown under 12h lighting. Notably, 53 days into the treatment, leaves grown under CL produced positive NCER values (photosynthesis) during the subjective night period, a period typically associated with respiration. At 53 days into the growth cycle, it is estimated that leaves under CL will accumulate approximately 800 mg C m-2 more than leaves under 12h lighting over a 24h period. Leaves grown under CL also displayed similar diurnal patterns in carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose, and starch) as leaves under 12h lighting indicating no adverse effects on carbohydrate metabolism under CL. Taken together, this study provides evidence that red and blue spectral alternations during CL allow for injury-free tomato production. We suggest that an alternating spectrum during CL may alleviate the injury typically associated with CL production in tomato.

Keywords: Continuous lighting, light-emitting diodes, Spectral quality, Tomato, photoperiod, Net carbon exchange rate, greenhouse, Supplemental lighting

Received: 26 Apr 2019; Accepted: 14 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Lanoue, Zheng, Little, Thibodeau, Grodzinski and Hao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Xiuming Hao, Harrow Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Harrow, Canada,