Responses of Sweet Basil to Different Daily Light Integrals in Photosynthesis, Morphology, Yield, and Nutritional Quality

in HortScience

Consumption of basil (Ocimum basilicum) has been increasing worldwide in recent years because of its unique aromatic flavor and relatively high concentration of phenolics. To achieve a stable and reliable supply of basil, more growers are turning to indoor controlled-environment production with artificial lighting due to its high environmental controllability and sustainability. However, electricity cost for lighting is a major limiting factor to the commercial application of indoor vertical farming, and little information is available on the minimum light requirement to produce uniform and high-quality sweet basil. To determine the optimal daily light integral (DLI) for sweet basil production in indoor vertical farming, this study investigated the effects of five DLIs, namely, 9.3, 11.5, 12.9, 16.5, and 17.8 mol·m−2·d−1 on basil growth and quality. ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil was treated with five DLIs provided by white fluorescent lamps (FLs) for 21 d after germination, and gas exchange rate, growth, yield, and nutritional quality of basil plants were measured to evaluate the effects of the different DLIs on basil growth and quality. Results indicated that basil plants grown under higher DLIs of 12.9, 16.5, or 17.8 mol·m−2·d−1 had higher net photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance (gS), compared with those under lower DLIs of 9.3 and 11.5 mol·m−2·d−1. High DLIs resulted in lower chlorophyll (Chl) a+b concentration per leaf fresh weight (FW), higher Chl a/b ratios, and larger and thicker leaves of basil plants. The shoot FW under DLIs of 12.9, 16.5, and 17.8 mol·m−2·d−1 was 54.2%, 78.6%, and 77.9%, respectively, higher than that at a DLI of 9.3 mol·m−2·d−1. In addition, higher DLIs led to higher soluble sugar percent and dry matter percent than lower DLIs. The amounts of total anthocyanin, phenolics, and flavonoids per plant of sweet basil were also positively correlated to DLIs, and antioxidant capacity at a DLI of 17.8 mol·m−2·d−1 was 73% higher than that at a DLI of 9.3 mol·m−2·d−1. Combining the results of growth, yield, and nutritional quality of sweet basil, we suggest a DLI of 12.9 mol·m−2·d−1 for sweet basil commercial production in indoor vertical farming to minimize the energy cost while maintaining a high yield and nutritional quality.

Contributor Notes

This research is supported partially by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch project TEX090450 and Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

We appreciate the assistance from Youping Sun, Christina Perez, Triston Hooks, and the student workers at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at El Paso, TX.

Corresponding author. E-mail: gniu@ag.tamu.edu.

Article Sections

Article Figures

  • View in gallery

    Relative chlorophyll (Chl) concentration per leaf area (soil plant analysis development) of basil leaves from day 1 to day 21 (A); Chl a, Chl b, and Chl a+b concentration per leaf FW (B); and Chl a/b ratio (C) of ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil grown for 21 d at different daily light integrals in indoor controlled environment. Means with the same letters within a group are not significantly different according to Student’s t mean comparison (P < 0.05). FW = fresh weight.

  • View in gallery

    Leaf, stem, shoot, and root fresh weight (A) per plant and dry weight (B) per plant of ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil grown for 21 d at different daily light integrals in indoor controlled environment. Means with the same letters within a group are not significantly different according to Student’s t mean comparison (P < 0.05).

  • View in gallery

    Correlation between shoot fresh weight per plant, shoot dry weight per plant (A), and dry matter percent (B) with daily light integrals of ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil grown for 21 d at different DLIs in indoor controlled environment. Correlation test was conducted using pairwise correlations method.

  • View in gallery

    Correlation between amount of total anthocyanin per plant (A), amount of total phenolic per plant (gallic acid equivalent), and amount of total flavonoid per plant [(+)-catechin hydrate equivalent] (B) with daily light integral of ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil grown for 21 d at different DLIs in indoor controlled environment. Correlation test was conducted using pairwise correlations method.

  • View in gallery

    Net photosynthetic rate per chlorophyll weight per hour (A) and net photosynthetic rate per leaf dry weight per hour (B) of ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil grown for 21 d at different daily light integrals in indoor controlled environment. Means with the same letters are not significantly different according to Student’s t mean comparison (P < 0.05).

  • View in gallery

    Correlation of chlorophyll (Chl) a+b concentration with Chl a/b ratio and net photosynthetic rate per leaf area with Chl a/b ratio of ‘Improved Genovese Compact’ sweet basil grown for 21 d at different daily light integrals in indoor controlled environment. Correlation test was conducted using pairwise correlations method.

Article References

  • Aerofarms2017US (NJ): IKEA & top chef David Chang round out financing for AeroFarms. Hortidaily. 11 Nov. 2017. <http://www.horidaily.com/article/38763/US-(NJ)-IKEA-&-top-chef-David-Chang-round-out-financing-for-AeroFarms>.

  • AgatiG.TattiniM.2010Multiple functional roles of flavonoids in photoprotectionNew Phytol.186786793

  • AkulaR.RavishankarG.A.2011Influence of abiotic stress signals on secondary metabolites in plantsPlant Signal. Behav.617201731

  • AlbertN.W.LewisD.H.ZhangH.IrvingL.J.JamesonP.E.DaviesK.M.2009Light-induced vegetative anthocyanin pigmentation in PetuniaJ. Expt. Bot.6021912202

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AlbrightL.BothA.J.ChiuA.2000Controlling greenhouse light to a consistent daily integralTrans. Amer. Soc. Agr. Eng.43421431

  • BeamanA.R.GladonR.J.SchraderJ.A.2009Sweet basil requires an irradiance of 500 μmol·m−2·s−1 for greatest edible biomass productionHortScience446467

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BianZ.H.YangQ.C.LiuW.K.2015Effects of light quality on the accumulation of phytochemicals in vegetables produced in controlled environments: A reviewJ. Sci. Food Agr.95869877

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BochenekG.M.FallstromI.2016The effect of diurnal light intensity distribution on plant productivity in a controlled environment. In: C.J. Currey R.G. Lopez and E.S. Runkle (eds.). Proc. VIII Intl. Symp. Light Hort. 1134:155–162.

  • ChangX.AldersonP.G.WrightC.J.2008Solar irradiance level alters the growth of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and its content of volatile oilsEnviron. Expt. Bot.63216223

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ChiangL.C.NgL.T.ChengP.W.ChiangW.LinC.C.2005Antiviral activities of extracts and selected pure constituents of Ocimum basilicumClin. Expt. Pharmacol. Physiol.32811816

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ColonnaE.RouphaelY.BarbieriG.De PascaleS.2016Nutritional quality of ten leafy vegetables harvested at two light intensitiesFood Chem.199702710

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CominelliE.GusmaroliG.AllegraD.GalbiatiM.WadeH.K.JenkinsG.I.TonelliC.2008Expression analysis of anthocyanin regulatory genes in response to different light qualities in Arabidopsis thalianaJ. Plant Physiol.165886894

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DaiY.ShenZ.LiuY.WangL.HannawayD.LuH.2009Effects of shade treatments on the photosynthetic capacity, chlorophyll fluorescence, and chlorophyll content of Tetrastigma hemsleyanum Diels et GilgEnviron. Expt. Bot.65177182

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries of Republic of South Africa2012Basil production. Dept. Agr. For. Fish Republic of South Africa

  • DespommierD.2010The vertical farm: Feeding the world in the 21st century. Macmillan New York NY

  • DespommierD.2013Farming up the city: The rise of urban vertical farmsTrends Biotechnol.31388389

  • DouH.NiuG.GuM.MasabniJ.G.2017Effects of light quality on growth and phytonutrient accumulation of herbs under controlled environmentsHorticulturae336

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DunwoodyR.K.2014Aquaponics and hydroponics: The effects of nutrient source and hydroponic subsystem design on sweet basil production. Univ. Ctr. Misso. Warrensburg MS Diss. Abstr

  • FigueiredoA.C.BarrosoJ.G.PedroL.G.SchefferJ.J.2008Factors affecting secondary metabolite production in plants: Volatile components and essential oilsFlav. Frag. J.23213226

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FischerR.NitzanN.ChaimovitshD.RubinB.DudaiN.2011Variation in essential oil composition within individual leaves of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is more affected by leaf position than by leaf ageJ. Agr. Food Chem.5949134922

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GouldK.S.DudleD.A.NeufeldH.S.2010Why some stems are red: Cauline anthocyanins shield photosystem II against high light stressJ. Expt. Bot.6127072717

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HassanpouraghdamM.B.GohariG.R.TabatabaeiS.J.DadpourM.R.2010Inflorescence and leaves essential oil composition of hydroponically grown Ocimum basilicum LJ. Serbian Chem. Soc.7513611368

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HatierJ.H.B.ClearwaterM.J.GouldK.S.2013The functional significance of black-pigmented leaves: Photosynthesis, photoprotection and productivity in Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’PLoS One86e67850

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HavauxM.KloppstechK.2001The protective functions of carotenoid and flavonoid pigments against excess visible radiation at chilling temperature investigated in Arabidopsis NPQ and TT mutantsPlanta213953966

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HouJ.L.LiW.D.ZhengQ.Y.WangW.Q.XiaoB.XingD.2010Effect of low light intensity on growth and accumulation of secondary metabolites in roots of Glycyrrhiza uralensis FischBiochem. Syst. Ecol.38160168

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KiferleC.LucchesiniM.Mensuali-SodiA.MagginiR.RaffaelliA.PardossiA.2011Rosmarinic acid content in basil plants grown in vitro and in hydroponicsCtr. Eur. J. Biol.6946957

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KitajimaK.HoganK.2003Increases of chlorophyll a/b ratios during acclimation of tropical woody seedlings to nitrogen limitation and high lightPlant Cell Environ.26857865

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KozaiT.2007Propagation, grafting and transplant production in closed systems with artificial lighting for commercialization in JapanProp. Ornam. Plants7145149

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KozaiT.2013Resource use efficiency of closed plant production system with artificial light: Concept, estimation and application to plant factoryProc. Jpn. Acad. Ser. B Phys. Biol. Sci.89447

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KozaiT.NiuG.TakagakiM.2015Plant factory: An indoor vertical farming system for efficient quality food production. Academic Press San Diego CA

  • KrumaZ.AndjelkovicM.VerheR.KreicbergsV.KarklinaD.VenskutonisP.2008Phenolic compounds in basil, oregano and thymeFoodbalt599103

  • LiarosS.BotsisK.XydisG.2016Technoeconomic evaluation of urban plant factories: The case of basil (Ocimum basilicum)Sci. Total Environ.554218227

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LichtenthalerH.K.1985Differences in morphology and chemical composition of leaves grown at different light intensities and qualitiesControl Leaf Growth1985201221

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LichtenthalerH.K.A.MarekM.V.KalinaJ.UrbanO.2007Differences in pigment composition, photosynthetic rates and chlorophyll fluorescence images of sun and shade leaves of four tree speciesPlant Physiol. Biochem.45577588

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LoganB.A.StafstromW.C.WalshM.J.ReblinJ.S.GouldK.S.2015Examining the photoprotection hypothesis for adaxial foliar anthocyanin accumulation by revisiting comparisons of green-and red-leafed varieties of coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)Photosyn. Res.124267274

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MakriO.KintziosS.2008Ocimum sp. (basil): Botany, cultivation, pharmaceutical properties, and biotechnologyJ. Herbs Spices Med. Plants13123150

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NitzG.M.SchnitzlerW.H.2004Effect of PAR and UV-B radiation on the quality and quantity of the essential oil in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). In: D.J. Cantliffe P.J. Stoffella and N.L. Shaw (eds.). Proc. VII Intl. Symp. Protected Cult. Mild Winter Climates: Prod. Pest Mgt. Global Comp. 1:375–381

  • OhyamaK.KozaiT.KubotaC.ChunC.HasegawaT.YokoiS.NishimuraM.2002Coefficient of performance for cooling of a home-use air conditioner installed in a closed-type transplant production system (in Japanese)J. Soc. High Technol. Agr.14141146

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • OhyamaK.ManabeK.OmuraY.KubotaC.KozaiT.2003A comparison between closed-type and opend-type transplant production systems with respect to quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) plug transplants and resource consumption during summer (in Japanese)Environ. Control Biol.415761

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ParkK.S.BekhzodK.KwonJ.K.SonJ.E.2016Development of a coupled photosynthetic model of sweet basil hydroponically grown in plant factoriesHort. Environ. Biotechnol.572026

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PioveneC.OrsiniF.BosiS.SanoubarR.BregolaV.DinelliG.GianquintoG.2015Optimal red: Blue ratio in LED lighting for nutraceutical indoor horticultureScientia Hort.193202208

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PolyakovaM.YuT.M.DilovarovaT.KosobryukhovA.2015Photosynthesis and productivity of basil plants (Ocimum basilicum L.) under different irradiationAgr. Biol.501124130

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PorraR.ThompsonW.KriedemannP.1989Determination of accurate extinction coefficients and simultaneous equations for assaying chlorophylls a and b extracted with four different solvents: Verification of the concentration of chlorophyll standards by atomic absorption spectroscopyBiochim. Biophys. Acta975384394

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PushpangadanP.GeorgeV.2012Basil p. 55–72. In: K.V. Peter (ed.). Handbook of herbs and spices. Elsevier Atlanta GA

  • RetkuteR.Smith-UnnaS.E.SmithR.W.BurgessA.J.JensenO.E.JohnsonG.N.PrestonS.P.MurchieE.H.2015Exploiting heterogeneous environments: Does photosynthetic acclimation optimize carbon gain in fluctuating light?J. Expt. Bot.6624372447

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RouphaelY.CardarelliM.BassalA.LeonardiC.GiuffridaF.CollaG.2012Vegetable quality as affected by genetic, agronomic and environmental factorsJ. Food Agr. Environ.10680688

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SahaS.MonroeA.DayM.R.2016Growth, yield, plant quality and nutrition of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) under soilless agricultural systemsAnn. Agr. Sci.61181186

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SarijevaG.KnappM.LichtenthalerH.K.2007Differences in photosynthetic activity, chlorophyll and carotenoid levels, and in chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in green sun and shade leaves of Ginkgo and FagusJ. Plant Physiol.164950955

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SgherriC.CecconamiS.PinzinoC.Navari-IzzoF.IzzoR.2010Levels of antioxidants and nutraceuticals in basil grown in hydroponics and soilFood Chem.123416422

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shafiee-HajiabadM.NovakJ.HonermeierB.2016Content and composition of essential oil of four Origanum vulgare L. accessions under reduced and normal light intensity conditionsJ. Appl. Bot. Food Qual.89126134

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SolovchenkoA.2010Localization of screening pigments within plant cells and tissues p. 67–88. In: Photoprotection in plants. Springer New York NY

  • TakahashiS.BadgerM.R.2011Photoprotection in plants: A new light on photosystem II damageTrends Plant Sci.165360

  • TattiniM.LandiM.BrunettiC.GiordanoC.RemoriniD.GouldK.S.GuidiL.2014Epidermal coumaroyl anthocyanins protect sweet basil against excess light stress: Multiple consequences of light attenuationPhysiol. Plant.152585598

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TerashimaI.MiyazawaS.I.HanbaY.T.2001Why are sun leaves thicker than shade leaves?—Consideration based on analyses of CO2 diffusion in the leafJ. Plant Res.11493105

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TouliatosD.DoddI.C.McainshM.2016Vertical farming increases lettuce yield per unit area compared to conventional horizontal hydroponicsFood Energy Secur.5184191

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VogelmannT.MartinG.1993The functional significance of palisade tissue: Penetration of directional versus diffuse lightPlant Cell Environ.166572

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WaltersK.J.CurreyC.J.2015Hydroponic greenhouse basil production: Comparing systems and cultivarsHortTechnology25645650

  • Winkel-ShirleyB.2002Biosynthesis of flavonoids and effects of stressCurr. Opin. Plant Biol.5218223

  • WittmannC.AschanG.PfanzH.2001Leaf and twig photosynthesis of young beech (Fagus sylvatica) and aspen (Populus tremula) trees grown under different light regimeBasic Appl. Ecol.2145154

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WuM.C.HouC.Y.JiangC.M.WangY.T.WangC.Y.ChenH.H.ChangH.M.2007A novel approach of LED light radiation improves the antioxidant activity of pea seedlingsFood Chem.10117531758

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • XuC.P.MouB.Q.2016Responses of spinach to salinity and nutrient deficiency in growth, physiology, and nutritional valueJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.1411221

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • YokoiS.KozaiT.HasegawaT.ChunC.KubotaC.2005CO2 and water utilization efficiencies of a closed transplant production system as affected by leaf area index of tomato seedling populations and the number of air exchangesJ. Soc. High Technol. Agr.18182181

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Article Information

Google Scholar

Related Content

Article Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 523 523 117
Full Text Views 223 223 4
PDF Downloads 39 39 1