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- Author or Editor: Cinthia Nájera x
At present, trends exist in the production of food for the benefit of human health. The negative effect of an excessive intake of nitrates accumulated in vegetables is well known, causing worldwide concern. Light plays an important role in the accumulation of this ion. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of light-emitting diode (LED) spectra used in artificial lighting for horticulture on the accumulation of nitrates in leafy and root vegetables compared with the effects with white LED lights. Two independent experiments were carried out in the culture chamber. In Expt. 1, six species of nitrate accumulators were used: arugula, spinach, lettuce, endive, radish, and beetroot. In Expt. 2, four lettuce cultivars were used. In both experiments, the treatments were two spectra—T1 = AP67 Valoya® and the control (T0) = white Roblan®—at two illumination intensities [high (H) and low (L)] with a 16/8-hour (day/night) photoperiod. The fresh biomass and the concentration of nitrates were measured at 35 days of treatment posttransplantation. An important and significant increase of 50% of the mean fresh weight was obtained in all the species when the light intensity increased. Except for spinach in the low-intensity treatment, all nitrate content values were less than the maximum limits of European regulation. The nitrate content generally decreased with increasing intensity, and this benefit was greater in the T1 treatment. T0 showed a reduction in the nitrate content compared with T1 in only one case, which was the H in beetroot. A large and significant reduction was observed in the nitrate content in T1. For L in Expt. 1, the nitrate decrease was 18%, whereas for H, it was 35%. In Expt. 2, the decrease in the nitrate content was 10% for L and 21% for H. A greater benefit was derived when using the photosynthetic spectrum in the growing chambers under low light intensity.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lamps signify one of the most important advances in artificial lighting for horticulture over the last few decades. The objective of this study was to compare the cultivation of four horticultural plants using a conventional white LED tube (T0) light against one with a good spectral fit to the maximum photosynthetic response (T1) at two intensities. The experiment was carried out with two types of young lettuce, tomato, and bell pepper plants. In a controlled environment chamber, six and four lamps per square meter were used to achieve high (H) and low (L) intensity, respectively. We measured the lighting parameters illuminance (lux) and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) intensity (µmol·m−2·s−1). The dry and fresh weight, leaf area (LA), and specific index were measured to gauge plant growth. The photosynthetic activity and energy efficiency (EE) were recorded for each species over 60 days of cultivation. The results clearly demonstrate that, compared with conventional LED lamps, the specific horticultural LED lamps with an improved light spectrum increased the EE of the evaluated vegetables by 26%. At both the studied light intensities, plant growth was clearly more closely linked to the spectral fit of the light to the maximum photosynthetic response recorded by McCree (1972) than to PPF or illuminance (lux). We therefore suggest that a specific, detailed spectral distribution study be conducted to predict the effect of the specific quantity and quality of light used in this study on a single parameter of plant growth.
The use of colored shade nets is a method to protect plants from direct solar radiation and optimize the light spectra they transmit. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), the photosynthetically active integrated radiation (IPAR), temperature, relative humidity, growth, production, and fruit quality of Physalis ixocarpa variety Tecozautla, cultivated under nets generating 60% shade in the colors beige, blue, green, red, and black and under a treatment without netting (control group). Different variables were observed: climatic variables, such as radiation, temperature, and relative humidity; growth variables, such as plant height and stem diameter; production variables, such as number, weight, and caliber of the fruit; and quality variables of the fruit, such as pH and total soluble solids. The highest PAR, IPAR, and temperature and lowest relative humidity were obtained in the absence of netting. The white net resulted in the highest PAR and IPAR but no difference in temperature or relative humidity. In addition, an increase in the height, stem diameter, number of branches, and weight, number, and size of the fruit was observed. The white net resulted in the highest yield: 88% higher than in the control group. The pH of the fruit was significantly higher under the white netting, and no differences among the treatments in terms of the content of total soluble solids were found.