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Andrew C. Schuerger and Christopher S. Brown

Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 μmol·m-2·s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/ cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/ tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the effects of spectral quality on disease development when other wavelengths were included in the light source (MH-, 660/BF-, and 660/735-grown plants) were equivocal. These results demonstrate that spectral quality may be useful as a component of an integrated pest management program for future space-based controlled ecological life support systems.

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Andrew C. Schuerger and Philip D. Laible

`Yecora Rojo' Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) And `Florida Petite' Tomato (Lycoper-Sicon Esculentum Mill.) Plants Were Grown In Monocultured Or Intercropped Recirculating Hydroponic Systems To Determine Whether Plant Growth Or Yield Would Be Affected By Intercropping. Mean Fruit Weight Was Slightly Lower (12%) For Intercropped Than For Monocultured Tomato Plants. The Number Of Tillers Per Plant Was Slightly Lower (7%) For Wheat, And Grain Dry Weight Per Plant And Mean Seed Dry Weight Were Slightly Higher (14% And 15%, Respectively) For Intercropped Than For Monocultured Plants. A Lettuce Seedling Bioassay Showed No Evidence Of Allelopathic Compound Accumulation In Monocultured Or Intercropped Hydroponic Systems.

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Christopher S. Brown, Andrew C. Schuerger and John C. Sager

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a potential irradiation source for intensive plant culture systems and photobiological research. They have small size, low mass, a long functional life, and narrow spectral output. In this study, we measured the growth and dry matter partitioning of `Hungarian Wax' pepper (Capsicum annum L.) plants grown under red LEDs compared with similar plants grown under red LEDs with supplemental blue or far-red radiation or under broad spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Additionally, we describe the thermal and spectra1 characteristics of these sources. The LEDs used in this study had a narrow bandwidth at half peak height (25 nm) and a focused maximum spectral output at 660 nm for the red and 735 nm for the far-red. Near infrared radiation (800 to 3000 nm) was below detection and thermal infrared radiation (3000 to 50,000 nm) was lower in the LEDs compared to the MH source. Although the red to far-red ratio varied considerably, the calculated phytochrome photostationary state (φ) was only slightly different between the radiation sources. Plant biomass was reduced when peppers were grown under red LEDs in the absence of blue wavelengths compared to plants grown under supplemental blue fluorescent lamps or MH lamps. The addition of far-red radiation resulted in taller plants with greater stem mass than red LEDs alone. There were fewer leaves under red or red plus far-red radiation than with lamps producing blue wavelengths. These results indicate that red LEDs may be suitable, in proper combination with other wavelengths of light, for the culture of plants in tightly controlled environments such as space-based plant culture systems.