Sprout Growth Inhibition and Photomorphogenic Development of Potato Seed Tubers (Solanum tuberosum L.) Under Different LED Light Colours

  • Jørgen A.B. MølmannEmail author
  • Tor J. Johansen


Green-sprouting potato seed tubers in light and elevated temperatures are vital for production in short-season climates. Using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to inhibit sprout elongation during pre-sprouting may represent an energy-efficient alternative to traditional indoor light sources. Sprout growth inhibition and some photomorphogenic responses were therefore examined in potato cultivars exposed to LEDs of different wavelength maxima and irradiance rates. Red LED (660 nm) produced the strongest inhibition of sprout elongation at very low irradiances 10–100 nmol m−2 s−1, while far-red LED (735 nm) produced the strongest inhibition at higher irradiances. This inhibitory pattern was similar in all cultivars, although the degree of inhibition varied. The colour of sprouts and tuber skin remained etiolated under far-red LED, in contrast to LEDs between 380 and 660 nm which developed green colour intensity in an irradiance-dependent manner. Mixtures of red and far-red light, and pulses including red/far-red reversals did not produce stronger inhibition, except in some instances where total fluence was increased. Furthermore, green-sprouting under different LED colours did not seem to affect subsequent emergence and growth after planting. The current results suggest an involvement of multiple phytochromes in de-etiolation and sprout growth inhibition in seed potato tubers, which may be selectively utilised in LED-based green-sprouting in red and far-red wavelengths.


De-etiolation  Far-red light Green-sprouting Photomorphogenesis Phytochrome Red light Sprout elongation 

List of Abbreviations




Days after planting






High irradiance response


Light-emitting diode




Very low fluence response


Ultraviolet A



We acknowledge the kind help from the staff at the Phytotron of UiT-The Arctic University of Norway and from the greenhouse staff at NIBIO in Tromsø.

Funding Information

This study is part of project no. 225148 of The Research Council in Norway with financial support by the Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry in Norway (85%) and Norwegian potato industry (15%).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© European Association for Potato Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Food Production and SocietyNorwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)ÅsNorway
  2. 2.Division of Biotechnology and Plant HealthNorwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)ÅsNorway

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