|Author: ||J.J. Wargent|
|Keywords: ||ultraviolet radiation, UV-B, LEDs, vegetable seedlings, UV photomorphogenesis, UVR8|
The opportunities within crop production presented by the continuing evolution of light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology are significant, with much attention currently focused on manipulation of visible wavelengths for supplementary and whole lighting systems in horticulture.
However, our understanding of the importance of other components of the electromagnetic spectrum for plant development has expanded considerably over the last two decades, and such knowledge can now be exploited for agronomic gain.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation (280-400 nm) is one such region beyond the visible, and is a biologically potent environmental cue to which plants acutely respond.
With the recent discovery of the only known UV-B specific photoreceptor (UVR8), combined with the new paradigm of UV light as a plant-regulatory signal as opposed to a frequently injurious source of stress, the application of this new photobiological understanding is now possible.
The arrival of UV LED technology is now offering possibilities to design UV lighting systems that can trigger desired outcomes in a range of crops.
As with the arrival of visible LED lighting, UV LEDs can now generate a new range of research questions across all scales, from the molecular basis for UV photoperception and signal transduction, to the elucidation of horticultural UV treatments which can add value to a growerRSQUOs operation, from induction of crop stress resilience, to regulation of traits linked to consumer acceptability.
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