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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer M. Evans x
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The biosynthesis of steviol glycosides is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. To evaluate the influence of total daily solar radiation or daily light integral (DLI) under long-day conditions on steviol glycoside concentration, we grew Stevia rebaudiana under ambient irradiance or varying levels of shading at different times of the year in both greenhouse and field environments, resulting in DLIs ranging from 3.55 to 20.31 mol·m−2·d−1 in the greenhouse and 10.32 to 39.7 mol·m−2·d−1 in the field. Total steviol glycoside concentration of selected leaves from greenhouse-grown plants increased as DLI increased up to ca. 10 mol·m−2·d−1, remaining constant with further increases in DLI, and was similar across the range of DLIs evaluated in the field. DLI influenced both the concentration and the relative proportions of specific steviol glycosides. Rebaudioside A concentration increased as DLI increased from 3.55 to 8.53 mol·m−2·d−1, remaining similar with further increases in DLI. Rebaudioside D and stevioside concentration of selected leaves from field-grown plants decreased by 22% and 13%, respectively, as DLI increased from 10.32 to 39.7 mol·m−2·d−1, while rebaudioside A and M concentrations remained similar across this DLI range. Collectively, these results indicate that the greatest influence of DLI on steviol glycoside concentration occurs under relatively low DLIs (<10 mol·m−2·d−1). However, higher DLIs can significantly affect the synthesis of minor glycosides of increasing commercial importance including rebaudioside D.

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