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Ice plant growth and phytochemical concentrations are affected by light quality and intensity of monochromatic light-emitting diodes

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The ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.), widely known to be an effective cure for diabetes mellitus, is also a functional crop. This study was conducted to examine the effects of light quality and intensity of monochromatic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on ice plant growth and phytochemical concentrations in a closed-type plant production system. Ice plant seedlings were transplanted into a deep floating technique system with a recycling nutrient solution (EC 4.0 dS m−1, pH 6.5). Fluorescent lamps, as well as monochromatic red (660 nm) and blue (450 nm) LEDs, were used at 120 ± 5 or 150 ± 5 µmol m−2 s−1 PPFD with a photoperiod of 14 h/10 h (light/dark) for 4 weeks. Ice plants showed higher growth under the high light intensity treatment, especially under the red LEDs. Furthermore, the SPAD value and photosynthetic rate were higher under the red LEDs with 150 µmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. The ice plant phytochemical composition, such as antioxidant activity and myo-inositol and pinitol concentrations, were highest under the blue LEDs with 150 µmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. Total phenolic concentration was highest under the blue LEDs with 120 µmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. Despite a slightly different dependence on light intensity, phytochemical concentrations responded positively to the blue LED treatments, as compared to other treatments. In conclusion, this study suggests that red LEDs enhance ice plant biomass, while blue LEDs induce phytochemical concentrations.

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This research was supported by the Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science and Technology Development for Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project No. PJ01277301).

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Correspondence to Seung Jae Hwang.

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Kim, Y.J., Kim, H.M., Kim, H.M. et al. Ice plant growth and phytochemical concentrations are affected by light quality and intensity of monochromatic light-emitting diodes. Hortic. Environ. Biotechnol. 59, 529–536 (2018).

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  • Diabetic mellitus
  • Fluorescent lamp
  • Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.
  • Myo-inositol
  • Pinitol