Growth of Transplants and in Vitro-cultured Clones of Asparagus in Response to CO2 Enrichment and Supplemental Lighting

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Département de Phytologie, Centre de Spécialisation des Cultures Abritées, Faculté des Sciences de l'Agriculture et de l'Alimentation, Université Laval, Que. G1K 7P4, Canada

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) transplants and in vitro-cultured clones were grown and acclimatized under two photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) conditions (ambient and ambient + 80 μmol·s-1·m-2) and three atmospheric CO2 concentrations (330, 900, and 1500 ppm). Short- and long-term effects were measured in the greenhouse and after two seasons of growth in the field, respectively. In the greenhouse, CO2 enrichment (CE) and supplemental lighting (SL) increased root and fern dry weight by 196% and 336%, respectively, for transplants and by 335% and 229%, respectively, for clones. For these characteristics, a significant interaction was observed between SL and CE with tissue-cultured plantlets. In the absence of SL, CE did not significantly increase root or shoot dry weight. No interaction was observed between CE and SL for transplants, although these factors significantly improved growth. It was possible to reduce the nursery period by as much as 3 weeks with CE and SL and still obtain a plant size comparable to that of the control at the end of the experiment. Long-term effects of SL were observed after two seasons of growth in the field. Supplemental lighting improved survival of transplants and was particularly beneficial to in vitro plants. Clones grown under SL were of similar size as transplants after 2 years in the field.