Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 128, Issue 2, pp 295–306 | Cite as

Acclimations to light quality on plant and leaf level affect the vulnerability of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to water deficit

Regular Paper

Abstract

We investigated the influence of light quality on the vulnerability of pepper plants to water deficit. For this purpose plants were cultivated either under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) providing similar photon fluence rates (95 µmol m−2 s−1) but distinct light quality. CFL emit a wide-band spectrum with dominant peaks in the green and red spectral region, whereas LEDs offer narrow band spectra with dominant peaks at blue (445 nm) and red (665 nm) regions. After one-week acclimation to light conditions plants were exposed to water deficit by withholding irrigation; this period was followed by a one-week regeneration period and a second water deficit cycle. In general, plants grown under CFL suffered more from water deficit than plants grown under LED modules, as indicated by the impairment of the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII, resulting in less biomass accumulation compared to respective control plants. As affected by water shortage, plants grown under CFL had a stronger decrease in the electron transport rate (ETR) and more pronounced increase in heat dissipation (NPQ). The higher amount of blue light suppressed plant growth and biomass formation, and consequently reduced the water demand of plants grown under LEDs. Moreover, pepper plants exposed to high blue light underwent adjustments at chloroplast level (e.g., higher Chl a/Chl b ratio), increasing the photosynthetic performance under the LED spectrum. Differently than expected, stomatal conductance was comparable for water-deficit and control plants in both light conditions during the stress and recovery phases, indicating only minor adjustments at the stomatal level. Our results highlight the potential of the target-use of light quality to induce structural and functional acclimations improving plant performance under stress situations.

Keywords

Chlorophyll fluorescence Drought stress Light acclimation Light-emitting diodes Blue light 

Abbreviations

A

Absorbance

c

Control

das

Days after sowing

D

Diameter

CFL

Compact fluorescence lamps

Chl

Chlorophyll

DM

Dry mass

ETR

Electron transport rate

F

Fluorescence yield

Fm

Maximum chlorophyll fluorescence of a dark adapted leaf

Fm´

Maximum chlorophyll fluorescence in the light adapted state

F0

Ground fluorescence of a dark adapted leaf

Fv

Variable chlorophyll a fluorescence level from a dark adapted leaf (Fv = Fm − F0)

FM

Fresh mass

Gs

Stomatal conductance

LED

Light-emitting diode

NPQ

Non-photochemical quenching

PAR

Photosynthetic active radiation

PSI

Photosystem I

PSII

Photosystem II

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

wd

Water deficit

Vol

Volume

Supplementary material

10265_2014_698_MOESM1_ESM.docx (37 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 37 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna M. Hoffmann
    • 1
  • Georg Noga
    • 1
  • Mauricio Hunsche
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation – Horticultural ScienceUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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