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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1134: VIII International Symposium on Light in Horticulture

Response of greenhouse mini-cucumber to different vertical spectra of LED lighting under overhead high pressure sodium and plasma lighting

Authors:   X. Guo, X. Hao, J.M. Zheng, C. Little, S. Khosla
Keywords:   light-emitting diodes, high pressure sodium, plasma, supplemental light, mini-cucumber, light spectrum
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1134.12
Different light spectra trigger different plant growth processes. Therefore, the optimum light spectrum for various plant growth processes such as leaf and fruit growth may be different. Greenhouse mini-cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a tall crop, with most leaf growth occurring in the top and middle canopy while fruit growth occurs in the middle and bottom canopy. Therefore, optimized vertical light spectral distribution profiles could be developed for improving both vegetative and fruit growth. In this study, we investigated the effects of different vertical spectra of light-emitting diodes (LED) lighting under high-pressure sodium (HPS) and plasma overhead lighting on plant growth and fruit yield of mini-cucumber. The study was conducted from October 2014 to April 2015 in a large greenhouse divided into 4 sections (50 m2 growing area in each section). Two sections were installed with plasma overhead light and the other two sections with HPS light, with both of them providing the same amount of overhead light (165 μmol m-2 s-1). Four vertical LED regimes (the top far red with bottom blue; the top blue with bottom far red; the top far red with bottom red; the top red with bottom far red) were applied to 4 plots inside each of the 4 sections. The blue or red LED each provided 10 Ámol m-2 s-1, while the far red LED provided 8 Ámol m-2 s-1 of light. The vertical LED treatments resulted in more than a 10% difference in fruit yield despite the small amount of light, indicating that the vertical light distribution had a large influence on plant growth. Top blue LED reduced leaf size and plant height in the early growth period which reduced total fruit yield for the plants grown under plasma light but not under HPS. Far red LED placed at the top of the canopy increased fruit yield, in comparison to bottom canopy placement, for plants grown under plasma light. This study has demonstrated that vertical light spectral distribution can have a large influence on plant growth and development, and optimized light distribution should and can be developed for year-round greenhouse vegetable production with supplemental lighting.

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