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  • Author or Editor: Kazuhiro Shoji x
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In this study, we determined the effects of raising seedlings with different light spectra such as with blue, red, and blue + red light-emitting diode (LED) lights on seedling quality and yield of red leaf lettuce plants. The light treatments we used were applied for a period of 1 week and consisted of 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 of blue light, simultaneous irradiation with 50 μmol·m−2·s−1 of blue light and 50 μmol·m−2·s−1 of red light, and 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 of red light. At the end of the light treatment, that is 17 days after sowing (DAS), the leaf area and shoot fresh weight (FW) of the lettuce seedlings treated with red light increased by 33% and 25%, respectively, and the dry weight of the shoots and roots of the lettuce seedlings treated with blue-containing LED lights increased by greater than 29% and greater than 83% compared with seedlings grown under a white fluorescent lamp (FL). The shoot/root ratio and specific leaf area of plants irradiated with blue-containing LED lights decreased. At 45 DAS, higher leaf areas and FWs were obtained in lettuce plants treated with blue-containing LED lights. The total chlorophyll (Chl) contents in lettuce plants treated with blue-containing and red lights were less than that of lettuce plants treated with FL, but the Chl a/b ratio and carotenoid content increased under blue-containing LED lights. Polyphenol contents and the total antioxidant status (TAS) were greater in lettuce seedlings treated with blue-containing LED lights than in those treated with FL at 17 DAS. The higher polyphenol contents and TAS in lettuce seedlings at 17 DAS decreased in lettuce plants at 45 DAS. In conclusion, our results indicate that raising seedlings treated with blue light promoted the growth of lettuce plants after transplanting. This is likely because of high shoot and root biomasses, a high content of photosynthetic pigments, and high antioxidant activities in the lettuce seedlings before transplanting. The compact morphology of lettuce seedlings treated with blue LED light would be also useful for transplanting.

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