Growth and development of greenhouse vegetable seedlings under supplemental LED lighting

by Hernandez, Ricardo, Ph.D., THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, 2013, 126 pages; 3600283

Abstract:

The greenhouse industry is interested in light emitting diodes (LEDs) as a light source supplement to solar light to improve plant growth and development. Before LEDs can be adopted as supplemental light for greenhouse crops, plant responses to LED spectral quality need to be investigated. Tomato and cucumber seedlings were grown under different supplemental blue and red photon flux ratios (B:R ratios) under high (16-19 mol m–2 d –1) and low (5-9 mol m–2 d–1 ) solar daily light integrals (DLIs). The supplemental daily light integral was 3.6 mol m–2 d–1 . A treatment without supplemental light served as a control. Both tomato and cucumber seedlings had increased growth rate and improved morphology when grown under the supplemental LED light compared to the control. However, no significant differences were observed for any growth and morphological parameters measured in this study between the different B:R ratios for both cucumber and tomato transplants under high DLI conditions. Cucumber seedlings showed a tendency to decrease dry mass, leaf number and leaf area under low DLI conditions with increasing B:R ratio. Tomato seedlings did not show any differences between the different B:R ratios under low DLI conditions. Seedlings growth and morphology under supplemental LED light were compared to those under supplemental high pressure sodium (HPS) light. Cucumber seedlings under supplemental HPS light had greater shoot dry mass than those under the supplemental red LED light. Tomato shoot dry mass showed no differences between the HPS and red LED supplemental light treatments. Cucumber seedlings were also grown under supplemental LED pulsed lighting and supplemental LED continuous lighting. Cucumber seedlings showed no differences in shoot dry mass and net photosynthetic rate between the treatments. Collectively, these studies concluded that red LED is preferred for supplemental lighting and the increase of blue light does not offer any benefits unless the efficiency of blue LEDs largely exceeds the red LEDs. The results of this research can be used for fixture development by LED manufactures and as a decision making tool for the adoption of supplemental LED lighting by greenhouse growers.

AdviserChieri Kubota
SchoolTHE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsHorticulture; Agriculture engineering
Publication Number3600283

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