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Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 275–285 | Cite as

Alternating high and low intensity of blue light affects PSII photochemistry and raises the contents of carotenoids and anthocyanins in pepper leaves

  • Anna M. Hoffmann
  • Georg Noga
  • Mauricio Hunsche
Original paper

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the morphological and physiological response of pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) as affected by different light regimes. In this context, we hypothesized that the illumination with proportionally high blue light under low light conditions induces stress-related responses and leads to stronger accumulation of protective pigments. For this purpose, pepper plants of the cultivar Yolo Wonder B were cultivated in a climate chamber under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light emitting diodes (LED). Light provided by LEDs was composed by either 15 or 75 % of blue, and completed by red light. In general, high blue light led to a stronger increase in heat dissipation, whereas the maximal photochemical efficiency remained almost unaffected. Biomass formation was lower under the LED light as compared to plants grown under CFL. However, different amounts of blue light did not impact plant morphological parameters such as stem length, leaf area and plant FM. Concentration of Chl a + b was significantly higher in plants grown under CFL, whereas the Chl a/Chl b ratio and leaf mass per area were increased under the LED treatments. In general, plants grown under blue and red LEDs accumulated significantly more flavonoids compared to plants grown under CFL. Additionally, the illumination with high blue light increased the synthesis and accumulation of anthocyanins and carotenoids, whereas flavonoid contents were not affected.

Keywords

Capsicum annuum L. Chlorophyll fluorescence Light acclimation LEDs Plant performance 

Abbreviations

A

Absorbance

AOI

Area of interest

Chl

Chlorophyll

ChlF

Chlorophyll fluorescence

CFL

Compact fluorescence lamps

das

Days after sowing

DM

Dry mass

ETR

Electron transport rate

FLAV

Epidermal flavonols

FM

Fresh mass

Fm

Maximum chlorophyll fluorescence of dark adapted leaf

Fm´

Maximum chlorophyll fluorescence in the light adapted state

Fo

Ground chlorophyll fluorescence of dark adapted leaf

Fv

Variable chlorophyll fluorescence of dark adapted leaf

Fv/Fm

Maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II

LEDs

Light emitting diodes

LMA

Leaf mass per area

NPQ

Non photochemical quenching

n.s.

Non significant

PAR

Photosynthetic active radiation

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Mr. Toshihiko Oishi, Ushio Europe B.V. (The Netherlands), and the group of technical engineers from Ushio Lighting Inc. (Japan) for developing and making the LED panels available for this study. Many thanks to Libeth Schwager for her support in pigment analysis, and to Brigitta Teschner and Judith Spielmanns for their assistance during the experimental phase. Finally, we acknowledge the Theodor-Brinkmann-Graduate School (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn) for providing a scholarship to the first author.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation – Horticultural ScienceUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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