(402) Effect of Light Quality on Growth and Essential Oil Composition in Rosemary

in HortScience
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  • 1 University of Massachusetts, Medicinal Plant Program, Amherst, MA, 01003

Variation in light quality is known to modify plant morphology, growth, and chemical constituency in plants. In the present study, the effect of light quality on growth and essential oil composition in rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) was investigated by comparing plants receiving supplemental red (660 nm) and far-red (730 nm) with each other and with control plants not receiving supplemental light. Except for the supplemental light treatments, all plants were grown under natural light conditions in a greenhouse and received full daylight, averaging 9.23 h/day during the study. The red and far-red light treatments, given as day extensions, started daily 15 min before sunset and continued for 4 h each evening for 4 weeks. No significant differences were observed in biomass yield from the different light treatments, but far-red light caused elongation of internodes and a reduction in the number of leaves in comparison with control and red-light treated plants. Essential oil production was highest in plants grown under far-red light treatments.

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