Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 573–579 | Cite as

Leaf photosynthetic rate, growth, and morphology of lettuce under different fractions of red, blue, and green light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

  • Woo Hyun Kang
  • Jong Seok Park
  • Kyung Sub Park
  • Jung Eek SonEmail author
Research Report Protected Horticulture


Current LED-based artificial lights for crop cultivation consist of red and blue lights because these spectra effectively promote leaf photosynthesis. However, the absence of green light could be disadvantageous for crop production, as green light plays an important role in plant development. The objective of this study was to investigate whether adding green light to different proportions of red and blue light would affect the leaf photosynthetic rate, growth, and morphology of lettuce plants. Plants were transplanted and grown hydroponically for 25 days under different combinations of red, blue (0, 10, 20, and 30%), and green (0 and 10%) light at 150 ± 15 μmol•m-2•s-1 of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). The leaf photosynthetic rate was highest under 80% red and 20% blue light and decreased significantly with the addition of green light and the absence of blue light. As the fraction of blue light increased, leaf size and plant growth decreased significantly. However, while the addition of green light considerably reduced the leaf photosynthetic rate, it did not reduce plant growth. In the absence of blue light, the plants showed symptoms of the shade avoidance response, which possibly enhanced their growth by improving their light interception. Therefore, the addition of 10% (15 μmol•m-2•s-1) green light did not have a positive effect on the growth of lettuce. Further study using higher intensities of green light is required to investigate the effects of green light on plant growth.

Additional key words

indoor cultivation light interception photomorphogenesis plant factory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Banerjee R, Schleicher E, Meier S, Viana RM, Pokorny R, Ahmad M, Bittl R, Batschauer A (2007) The signaling state of arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 contains flavin semiquinone. J Biol Chem 282:14916–14922CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bouly JP, Schleicher E, Dionisio-Sese M, Vandenbussche F, van der Straeten D, Bakrim N, Meier S, Batschauer A, Galland P, Bittl R, Ahmad M (2007) Cryptochrome blue light photoreceptors are activated through interconversion of flavin redox states. J Biol Chem 282:9383–9391CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Casal JJ (2013) Photoreceptor signaling networks in plant responses to shade. Annu Rev Plant Biol 64:403–427CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cope KR, Bugbee B (2013) Spectral effects of three types of white light-emitting diodes on plant growth and development: Absolute versus relative amounts of blue light. Hortscience 48:504–509Google Scholar
  5. Dougher TA, Bugbee B (2004) Long-term blue light effects on the histology of lettuce and soybean leaves and stems. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 129:467–472Google Scholar
  6. Evans LT (1993) Crop evolution, adaptation and yield. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, p500Google Scholar
  7. Franklin KA (2008) Shade avoidance. New Phytol 179:930–944CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Frechilla S, Talbott LD, Bogomolni RA, Zeiger E (2000) Reversal of blue light-stimulated stomatal opening by green light. Plant Cell Physiol 41:171–176CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Folta KM (2004) Green light stimulates early stem elongation, antagonizing light-mediated growth inhibition. Plant Physiol 135:1407–1416CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Hogewoning SW, Douwstra P, Trouwborst G, van Ieperen W, Harbinson J (2010a) An artificial solar spectrum substantially alters plant development compared with usual climate room irradiance spectra. J Exp Bot 61:1267–1276CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hogewoning SW, Trouwborst G, Maljaars H, Poorter H, van Ieperen W, Harbinson J (2010b) Blue light dose-responses of leaf photosynthesis, morphology, and chemical composition of Cucumis sativus grown under different combinations of red and blue light. J Exp Bot 61:3107–3117CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Inada K (1976) Action spectra for photosynthesis in higher plants. Plant Cell Physiol 17:355–365Google Scholar
  13. Johkan M, Shoji K, Goto F, Hahida S, Yoshihara T (2012) Effect of green light wavelength and intensity on photomorphogenesis and photosynthesis in Lactuca sativa. Environ Exp Bot 75:128–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kang WH, Zhang F, Lee JW, Son JE (2016) Improvement of canopy light distribution, photosynthesis, and growth of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in plant factory conditions by using filters to diffuse light from LEDs. Korean J Hortic Sci Technol 34:84–93Google Scholar
  15. Keuskamp DH, Sasidharan R, Vos I, Peeters AJ, Voesenek LA, Pierik R (2011) Blue-light-mediated shade avoidance requires combined auxin and brassinosteroid action in Arabidopsis seedlings. Plant J 67:208–217CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim HH, Goins GD, Wheeler RM, Sager JC (2004a) Green-light supplementation for enhanced lettuce growth under red-and bluelight-emitting diodes. Hortscience 39:1617–1622PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kim HH, Goins GD, Wheeler RM, Sager JC (2004b) Stomatal conductance of lettuce grown under or exposed to different light qualities. Ann Bot 94:691–697CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim HM, Kang JH, Jeong BR, Hwang SJ (2016) Light quality and photoperiod affect growth of sowthistle (Ixeris dentata Nakai) in a closed-type plant production system. Korean J Hortic Sci Technol 34:67–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kinoshita T, Doi M, Suetsugu N, Kagawa T, Wada M, Shimazaki K (2001) Phot1 and phot2 mediate blue light regulation of stomatal opening. Nature 414:656–660CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kjaer KH, Ottosen CO, Jørgensen BN (2011) Cost-efficient light control for production of two campanula species. Sci Hortic 129:825–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kozai T (2013) Resource use efficiency of closed plant production system with artificial light: Concept, estimation and application to plant factory. Proc Jpn Acad Series B, Phys Biol Sci 89:447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee JS, Kim YH (2014) Growth and anthocyanins of lettuce grown under red or blue light-emitting diodes with distinct peak wavelength. Korean J Hortic Sci Technol 32:330–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lin KH, Huang MY, Huang MD, Hsu MH, Yang ZW, Yang VM (2013) The effects of red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes on the growth, development, and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata). Sci Hortic 150:86–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Matsuda R, Ohashi-Kaneko K, Fujiwar, K, Goto E, Kurata K (2004) Photosynthetic characteristics of rice leaves grown under red light with or without supplemental blue light. Plant Cell Physiol 45:1870–1874CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. McCree KJ (1971) The action spectrum, absorptance and quantum yield of photosynthesis in crop plants. Agric Meteorol 9:191–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Morrow RC (2008) LED lighting in horticulture. Hortsience 43:1947–1950Google Scholar
  27. Nelson JA, Bugbee B (2014) Economic analysis of greenhouse lighting: Light emitting diodes vs. high intensity discharge fixtures. PLoS One 9:e99010CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Ohashi-Kaneko K, Matsuda R, Goto E, Fujiwara K, Kurata K (2006) Growth of rice plants under red light with or without supplemental blue light. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 52:444–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ouzounis T, Fretté X, Rosenqvist E, Ottosen CO (2014) Spectral effects of supplementary lighting on the secondary metabolites in roses, chrysanthemums, and campanulas. J Plant Physiol 171:1491–1499CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Ouzounis T, Rosenqvist E, Ottosen CO (2015) Spectral effects of artificial light on plant physiology and secondary metabolism: A review. Hortscience 50:1128–1135Google Scholar
  31. Paradiso R, Meinen E, Snel JFH, de Visser P, van Ieperen W, Hogewoning SW, Marcelis LFM (2011) Spectral dependence of photosynthesis and light absorbtance in single leaves and canopy in rose. Sci Hortic 127:548–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Piovene, C, Orsini F, Bosi S, Sanoubar R, Bregola V, Dinelli G, Gianquinto G (2015) Optimal red:blue ratio in led lighting for nutraceutical indoor horticulture. Sci Hortic 193:202–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Son KH, Oh MM (2013) Leaf shape, growth, and antioxidant phenolic compounds of two lettuce cultivars grown under various combinations of blue and red light-emitting diodes. Hortscience 48:988–995Google Scholar
  34. Takahashi N, Ling PP, Frantz JM (2008) Considerations for accurate whole plant photosynthesis measurement. Environ Control Biol 46:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Talbott LD, Hammad JW, Harn LC, Nguyen VH, Patel J, Zeiger E (2006) Reversal by green light of blue light-stimulated stomatal opening in intact, attached leaves of arabidopsis operates only in the potassium-dependent, morning phase of movement. Plant Cell Physiol 47:332–339CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Terashima, I, Fujita T, Inoue T, Chow WS, Oguchi R (2009) Green light drives leaf photosynthesis more efficiently than red light in strong white light: Revisiting the enigmatic question of why leaves are green. Plant Cell Physiol 50:684–697CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Vandenbussche F, Pierik R, Millenaar FF, Voesenek LA, van der Straeten D (2005) Reaching out of the shade. Curr Opin Plant Biol 8:462–468CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. von Wettberg EJ, Schmitt J (2005) Physiological mechanism of population differentiation in shade-avoidance responses between woodland and clearing genotypes of Impatiens capensis. Am J Bot 92:868–874CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang Y, Folta K (2013) Contributions of green light to plant growth and development. Am J Bot 100:70–78CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang Y, Maruhnich S, Mageroy M, Justice J, Folta K (2013) Phototropin 1 and cryptochrome action in response to green light in combination with other wavelengths. Planta 237:225–237CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Whitelam G, Halliday K (2007) Light and plant development.Blackwell Publishing. OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yamazaki K (1982) Nutrient solution culture. Pak-kyo, Tokyo, Japan. p251Google Scholar
  43. Yorio NC, Goins GD, Kagie HR, Wheeler RM, Sager JC (2001) Improving spinach, radish, and lettuce growth under red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with blue light supplementation. HortScience 36:380–383PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhang T, Maruhnich S, Folta K (2011) Green light induces shade avoidance symptoms. Plant Physiol 157:1528–1536CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Woo Hyun Kang
    • 1
  • Jong Seok Park
    • 2
  • Kyung Sub Park
    • 3
  • Jung Eek Son
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant Science and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Horticultural ScienceChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea
  3. 3.Protected Horticulture Research InstituteNational Institute of Horticultural and Herbal ScienceGyeonsangnam-doKorea

Personalised recommendations