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Hassan Chadjaa, Louis-Phillipe Vézina, Sylvain Dubé, and André Gosselin

Two cultivars of lamb's lettuce (Valerianella sp L. cvs. Valgros et Vit) and one cultivar of spinach (Spinacea oleracea L. cv. Martine RZ Fl) were subjected to supplemental lighting treatments provided by high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS, PL 90, P.L. Lighting Systems). The PAR level was 50 μmol m–2 · s–1. Seedlings were subjected to three photoperiods (natural, 12, and 16 h). The experiment was conducted from Jan. until Apr. 1994. The fresh weight of plants grown under supplemental light was higher than plants grown under natural light. Nitrate concentration was lower in the leaves of plants grown under supplemental light while nitrate reductase activity (NRA) was increased. The cultivar Valgros was more productive than Vit, but accumulated more nitrates. At harvest, the fresh weight of Valgros plants grown under 12- and 16-h photoperiods were 30% and 50% higher, respectively, than those grown under natural photoperiod. The fresh weight of Vit grown under 16 h of supplemental light was 30% higher than under natural photoperiod. The lowest nitrate concentrations in plants were obtained under a 16-h photoperiod and the highest NRA were obtained with the same treatment. Compared to that obtained under natural photoperiod, the fresh weight of spinach shoots was 40% higher when seedlings were lighted for 12 h and almost 100% under 16 h. The lowest nitrate accumulation in spinach was found for plants grown under 16 h supplemental lighting.