Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 231–240 | Cite as

Effects of different LED sources on the growth and nitrogen metabolism of lettuce

  • Tao Zhang
  • Yuanyuan Shi
  • Fengzhi Piao
  • Zhiqiang SunEmail author
Original Article


Using a light-emitting diode (LED) as the light source, the effects of eight different light treatments [white light (control, W), purple light (P), blue light (B), red light (R), green light (G), yellow light (Y), red–blue light in a 9:1 ratio (9R/1B), and red–blue light in a 4:1 ratio (4R/1B)] on the growth, quality and nitrogen metabolism of lettuce were studied. The results showed that compared with the white light, the purple light, blue light, red light, and the red-blue light combination could all increase the biomass of the aboveground part of lettuce to various degrees, while green light and yellow light inhibited lettuce growth. Under blue light, the contents of soluble protein and flavonoid in lettuce were the highest; under red light, the soluble sugar content was the highest, while the contents of soluble protein, free amino acids, and vitamin C (VC) were relatively higher under the 4R/1B light condition. Compared with white light, the sources of purple, blue, and red lights as well as the red–blue light combination all significantly reduced nitrate accumulation in lettuce, and the activities of the nitrogen (N) metabolism-related enzymes such as nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase, glutamine synthetase, glutamate synthase, and glutamate dehydrogenase were increased to varying degrees. In contrast, the contents of nitrate and ammonium N were significantly accumulated in lettuce under green light, and the activities of relative enzymes were significantly reduced. Therefore, the purple light, blue light, and red–blue combination light sources could promote N assimilation and improve the aboveground biomass accumulation in lettuce by improving the activity of the N metabolism-related enzymes in lettuce. Particularly under the 4R/1B light source, the biomass, soluble protein, VC, and total amino acid content were rather high in lettuce, which indicated that the 4R/1B light source could better effectively improve the nutritional quality and promote the growth of lettuce, while yellow light and green light are not suitable to serve as direct sources in a plant factory. These results provide a certain theoretical basis for the regulation of the light environment in cultivation facilities.


Lettuce LED Light quality Nutritional quality Nitrogen metabolism 



This work was financially supported by the China Earmarked Fund for Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System (CARS-25-C-06).

Author Contributions

FZP and ZQS designed the research. TZ and YYS conducted the experiment. TZ carried out date analysis. TZ wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11240_2018_1415_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1093 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of HorticultureHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina

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