Adding green [G (500–600 nm)] radiation to blue [B (400–500 nm)] and red [R (600–700 nm)] radiation creates white radiation and improves crop inspection at indoor farms. Although G radiation can drive photosynthesis and elicit the shade-avoidance response, its effects on plant growth and morphology have been inconsistent. We postulated G radiation would counter the suppression of crop growth and promotion of secondary metabolism by B radiation depending on the B photon flux density (PFD). Lettuce (Lactuca sativa ‘Rouxai’) was grown in a growth room under nine sole-source light-emitting diode (LED) treatments with a 20-hour photoperiod or in a greenhouse. At the same photosynthetic photon flux density [PPFD (400–700 nm)] of 180 μmol·m−2·s−1, plants were grown under warm-white LEDs or increasing B PFDs at 0, 20, 60, and 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 with or without substituting the remaining R radiation with 60 μmol·m−2·s−1 of G radiation. Biomass and leaf expansion were negatively correlated with the B PFD with or without G radiation. For example, increasing the B PFD decreased fresh and dry mass by up to 63% and 54%, respectively. The inclusion of G radiation did not affect shoot dry mass at 0 or 20 μmol·m−2·s−1 of B radiation, but it decreased it at 60 or 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 of B radiation. Results suggest that the shade-avoidance response is strongly elicited by low B radiation and repressed by high B radiation, rendering G radiation ineffective at controlling morphology. Moreover, substituting R radiation with G radiation likely reduced the quantum yield. Otherwise, G radiation barely influenced morphology, foliage coloration, essential nutrients, or sensory attributes regardless of the B PFD. Increasing the B PFD increased red foliage coloration and the concentrations of several macronutrients (e.g., nitrogen and magnesium) and micronutrients (e.g., zinc and copper). Consumers preferred plants grown under sole-source lighting over those grown in the greenhouse, which were more bitter and less acceptable, flavorful, and sweet. We concluded that lettuce phenotypes are primarily controlled by B radiation and that G radiation maintains or suppresses lettuce growth depending on the B PFD.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum ×morifolium) is a common ornamental crop with a qualitative short-day flowering response. Extending a short day with moderate blue [B (400–500 nm)] light inhibits flowering in greenhouse conditions with sunlight but does not indoors (without sunlight) under B + red [R (600–700 nm)] light or white light. We postulated that the contrasting responses to B light as a day extension depended on far-red [FR (700–800 nm)] light during the day, which is plentiful under sunlight but lacking indoors under B+R or white light-emitting diodes. To study this response in three chrysanthemum cultivars, we delivered indoor lighting treatments at two locations with an 11-hour main photoperiod of B, green [G (500–600 nm)], R, and FR light, where subscript values indicate the photon flux density (in µmol·m−2·s−1) of each waveband: B60R120, B60G60R60, and B60R60FR60. After each short main photoperiod, plants received 0 or 4 hours of day-extension lighting of 60 µmol·m−2·s−1 of B light (B60). Under all treatments except B60R60FR60 with day-extension B60, it took ‘Chelsey Pink’, ‘Gigi Gold’, and ‘Gigi Yellow’ 13 to 17 days to reach the first visible inflorescence and 42 to 51 days to the first open flower. In contrast, plants grown under B60R60FR60 with day-extension B60 took 41 to 67 days to reach the first visible inflorescence with few plants developing open flowers. Plants were tallest at the first open flower and after 9 weeks of treatments when grown under B60R60FR60 with day-extension B60. These results indicate that the inclusion of FR light, but not G light, in the main photoperiod is necessary for day-extension B light to inhibit flowering in chrysanthemum. On the basis of these results and those of other studies, we postulate that the spectral dependence of flowering in chrysanthemum depends on whether and how the phytochrome photoequilibrium changes during the day. In particular, a sufficiently high daytime phytochrome photoequilibrium (e.g., under B+R and B+G+R light) could establish a predominant mode of floral signaling that prevents perception of subsequent B light as a long day.