Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 659–670 | Cite as

Growth of dropwort plants and their accumulation of bioactive compounds after exposure to UV lamp or LED irradiation

  • Yu-Min Jeon
  • Ki-Ho Son
  • Sang-Min Kim
  • Myung-Min OhEmail author
Research Report Protected Horticulture


High-energy ultraviolet (UV) light is an environmental stress that can be used to stimulate the biosynthesis of bioactive compounds in plants. This study aimed to comparatively determine the effects of UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the growth of dropwort (Oenanthe stolonifera) plants, and their contents of bioactive compounds. Dropwort seedlings with 2–3 offshoots were transplanted in a plant factory equipped with white LED and deep flow technique systems, and cultivated under standard growth conditions for 36 days. Thereafter, the dropwort plants were supplementally exposed to one of five UV treatments with energy equivalent to 10 W m−2: UV-C lamps for 2 days, UV-B lamps for 3 days, and UV-A lamps and LEDs with 370 nm or 385 nm peak wavelengths for 14 days. The variable fluorescence (Fv) to maximum fluorescence (Fm) ratio (Fv/Fm) of dropwort leaves began to significantly decrease 3 h after exposure to UV-C, and 6 h after UV-B exposure. Fluorescence in UV-C and UV-B-treated plants was lower than in control and UV-A-treated plants during the entire period of UV irradiation. The fresh weight of the shoots of plants treated with UV was not significantly different to those of the control plants during the entire UV irradiation period. The total phenolic content of dropwort shoots exposed to UV-A and UV-B treatments significantly increased compared to that of the control 1 day after treatment. The total phenolic content was highest in plants treated with the 370 nm UV-A LED, and this was significantly higher (33%) than the control. Plants treated with the 385 nm UV-A LED on day 3 of treatment had the highest total phenolic content compared to the other treatments. A similar trend was observed in contents of flavonoids and persicarin. UV light induced higher anthocyanin content than the control. The activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase after UV treatments was significantly higher than the control, supporting the findings of our bioactive compound assays. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that irradiating vegetables with UV-A LEDs would be useful in plant factories with artificial light for improving vegetable quality without inhibiting growth.


Anthocyanins Chlorophyll fluorescence Persicarin Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase Ultraviolet 



This study was supported by funding from the Open Research Program, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (Project No. 500-20140201), and also by the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries through the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Research Center Support Program, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Grant No: 717001-7).


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Animal, Horticultural and Food SciencesChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Brain Korea 21 Center for Bio-Resource DevelopmentChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Horticultural ScienceGyeongnam National University of Science and TechnologyJinjuRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Natural Products Research CenterKIST Gangneung Institute of Natural ProductsGangneungRepublic of Korea

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