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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 723: I International Symposium on the Labiatae: Advances in Production, Biotechnology and Utilisation

EFFECT OF LIGHT QUALITY ON GROWTH AND ESSENTIAL OIL COMPOSITION IN ROSEMARY

Authors:   G. Mulas, Z. Gardner, L.E. Craker
Keywords:   Culinary herb, essential oil, far-red, medicinal plant, red, Rosmarinus officinalis.
Abstract:
Red and far-red light that influence plant morphology and phenology may play an important role in modulate essential oil production of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.). In a study on the growth, development, and essential oil production of rosemary growing in a glasshouse, the addition of end-of-day light treatment with red (660 nm) and far-red (730 nm) light had significant effects on the content and constituents of essential oil as compared with control plants not exposed to light treatments. Potted rosemary seedlings (10 13 cm tall) exposed to red or far-red light for 3 h beginning 15 min before sunset for 28 days varied in levels of limonene, bornyl acetate, α-cedrene, neril acetate, α-pinene, camphene, p-cymene, α-terpinolene, and geranyl acetate production as compared with controls. Far-red light promoted and red light inhibited the synthesis of alpha-pinene, camphene, and p-cymene. Red light promoted the synthesis of limonene and bornyl acetate, alpha-cedrene, and neryl acetate. Far-red light increased and red light decreased oil production as compared with non-lighted control. Both red and far-red light treatments induced plant growth variations with both red and far-red treated seedlings exposed to end-of-day light were taller than controls. The far-red light treatment significantly increased internode length as compared with the control.
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