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Ruey-Chi Jao and Wei Fang

Effects of intermittent light on photomixotrophic growth of potato plantlets in vitro and the electrical savings that could be realized by adjusting the frequency and duty ratio of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were investigated and compared to the use of conventional tubular fluorescent lamps (TFLs). TFLs provide continuous fluctuating light at 60 Hz and LEDs provide continuous nonfluctuating or intermittent/pulse light depend on the preset frequency and duty ratio. In total, eight treatments were investigated with varying light source, frequency, duty ratio and photoperiod. Results indicated that if growth rate is the only concern, LEDs at 720 Hz [1.4 milliseconds (ms)] and 50% duty ratio with 16-h light/8-h dark photoperiod stimulated plant growth the most. However, if energy consumption is the major concern, using LEDs at 180 Hz (5.5 ms) and 50% duty ratio with 16-h light/8-h dark photoperiod would be the best choice for illuminating potato plantlets without significantly sacrificing plant growth, especially when energy for heat removal is also considered.

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Ruey-Chi Jao and Wei Fang

Effects of concurrent vs. alternating blue and red light using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the photomixotrophic growth of potato plantlets in vitro were investigated. All seven treatments had the same 5.53 mol·m-2 daily light integral (DLI), photoperiod (16-hour day/8-hour night) and similar proportion of red light (45%) and blue light (55%). Results showed that the fresh/dry weight accumulation of potato plantlets in vitro under the concurrent blue and red light was superior than that under the alternating blue and red light, indicating that the simultaneous coexistence of blue and red light are necessary for optimum plantlet growth. Low PPF with long duration was better than high PPF with short duration under same DLI. Within the concurrent blue and red light treatments, when the duration of blue light was shorter than that of red light, timing of the blue light affected the growth of potato plantlets in vitro. Providing blue and red light together at the beginning of the photoperiod resulted in optimal growth, however plantlets illuminated with alternately blue and red light had significantly less fresh/dry weight accumulation.

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Shih-Wei Kong, Hsin-Ying Chung, Ming-Yi Chang and Wei Fang

Six types of light sources [0G, 20G, 40G, cool-white light-emitting diode (LED CW), cool-white fluorescent lamp (FLCW), and plant light fluorescent lamp (TLRA)] were used as the sole light sources to cultivate boston lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Ostinata). The photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) range was separated into five sections and the contributions of each spectral section on fresh weight (FW) were quantified. The results indicate that the conventional method of separating PAR into red, green, and blue at 100 nm apart was not accurate enough to clarify the contribution of different spectral sections to FW of boston lettuce. Green light (525–575 nm) at less than 30% of PAR is even more important than red (625–700 nm) and blue (400–475 nm) to plant growth. Yellow light (575–625 nm) has very little effect on plant growth.

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Ruey-Chi Jao, Chien-Chou Lai, Wei Fang and Sen-Fuh Chang

Effects of light generated by red and blue light-emitting diodes on the photomixotrophic growth of Zantedeschia jucunda `Black Magic' plantlets in vitro and tuber formation after transplant under the same PPF and photoperiod were investigated. All five treatments had the same photosynthetic photon flux (PPF, 80 ± 5 μmol·m-2·s-1) and photoperiod (16 hours daytime/8 hours nighttime), leading to the same daily light integral. Results showed that the tubular fluorescent lamp (TFL) treatment had the highest value on chlorophyll content and dry weight accumulation than other treatments using light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In LED treatments, there were no significant differences on dry weight and growth rate but with significant differences on chlorophyll content and plant height when blue light LEDs were added. It revealed that blue light was involved in plant height and chlorophyll development control mechanism. Results also showed that minor difference in 28 days of transplant production (in vitro) among treatments does not extends after 6 months of tuber formation stage grown in greenhouse. At present, blue LEDs cost much more than that of red LEDs, results of this study suggested that using red LEDs alone and powered with AC is feasible for the commercial production of Zantedeschia plantlets in vitro.

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Hsing-Ying Chung, Ming-Yih Chang, Chia-Chyi Wu and Wei Fang

Red leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) has high nutritional value and is frequently used in salads. In a plant factory with full electric lighting, if the spectrum is incorrect, then red leaf lettuce will have incomplete coloration. This study aimed to establish a light recipe for the mass production of red leaf lettuce using electric light sources in a plant factory by using indicators for quantitative assessment, including energy yield (EY) [grams of fresh weight (FW) harvested per kilowatt hour of electricity input for lighting], photon yield (PY) (grams of FW harvested per mole of photons delivered), anthocyanin yield per kilowatt hour (EYA), and anthocyanin yield per photon (PYA). First, the effects of four types of light quality on FW and anthocyanin content were examined. Then, two types of light quality, light-emitting diode with a red-to-blue photon ratio of 80:20 (R80:B20) and R20:B80, were selected for an experiment involving five treatments. An optimum light recipe (SR5SB1) including R80:B20 treatment during the early stage of cultivation (weeks 1 through 5 after sowing) followed by R20:B80 treatment during the final stage (week 6) was proposed. The SR5SB1 treatment led to FW, EYA, and PYA of 87.8 g/plant, 1.63 mg/kWh, and 0.57 mg·mol–1, respectively. This treatment resulted in the highest EYA and PYA, with 159% and 256% more anthocyanin productivity, respectively, compared with cool white treatment (with FW, EYA, and PYA of 65.8 g/plant, 0.63 mg/kWh, and 0.16 mg·mol–1, respectively). The proposed SR5SB1 light recipe enabled cultivation of red leaf lettuce with a balanced yield and anthocyanin production.

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Wei-Ling Yuan, Shang-yong Yuan, Xiao-hui Deng, Cai-xia Gan, Lei Cui and Qing-fang Wang

Efficient nitrogen (N) fertilizer management is crucial for ensuring the maximum economic yield and reducing the risk of environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of N fertilizer management on root yield and N uptake of radish in southern China by using 15N isotope tracing. A 2-year field experiment was conducted with three N rates (0, 60, and 120 kg N/ha) and two different application proportions, viz, A [50% at basal, 20% at 15 days after seeding (DAS), 30% at 30 DAS] and B (30% at basal, 20% at 15 DAS, 50% at 30 DAS) for each N rate, which were expressed as N0, N60A, N60B, N120A, and N120B, respectively. The results showed that root yields were significantly increased with N rates increasing from 0 to 120 kg N/ha. The root yields for N120A and N120B were 67.60 t·ha−1 and 72.50 t·ha−1 at harvest, 64.07% and 66.67% higher than those for the treatments of N60A and N60B, respectively. Mean radish recovery of N fertilizer ranged from 25.90% at N120A to 32.60% at N60B, and N fertilizer residual rate in the soil ranged from 11.50% at N120A to 14.90% at N60B. About 17.50% to 35.70% of total uptake of 15N derived from basal fertilizer was absorbed at seeding stage. However, 61.87% to 80.18% of total uptake of 15N derived from topdressing fertilizer absorbed at root expanding stage. Therefore, appropriate nitrogen application with increasing topdressing nitrogen amount could increase root yield of radish and the nitrogen recovery efficiency. Nitrogen fertilizer application recommended was 120 kg N/ha with 30% for basal, 20% for 15 DAS and 50% for 30 DAS in this study.

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Choun-Sea Lin, Huey-Ling Lin, Wann-Neng Jane, Han-Wen Hsiao, Chung-Chih Lin, Fang-Yi Jheng and Wei-Chin Chang

A xylem mutant (vse) was isolated from a Bambusa edulis (Odashima) Keng plantlet following vegetative micropropagation and subculture for 7 consecutive years and induced to proliferate in medium supplemented with 0.1 mg·L-1 (0.5 μm) thidiazuron (TDZ) and to develop roots in medium supplemented with 5 mg·L-1 (26.9 μm) α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Subsequent investigations comparing the growth habits of mutant plantlets with those of the wild type indicated that the growth of the former was retarded in a greenhouse. Several morphological abnormalities were observed in the vse mutant: it had thinner stems with fewer trichromes on the surface; the xylem vessels were smaller in diameter and contained crystal-like structures in the pith; the leaves were shorter and narrower with a sharp leaf blade angle; the roots were thinner and contained fewer xylem cells. The cation concentrations of both the mutant and wild type were similar in the in vitro analysis, except for those of iron and potassium, which were lower in mutant leaves in vivo. In 2-month-old mutant plants, iron chlorosis was observed on young leaves and a potassium deficiency was observed on older leaves. After 1 year of growth in the greenhouse, all of the wild-type plants had survived, but only 27% (16/60) of the mutant vse plants were alive.

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Yun-Peng Zhong, Zhi Li, Dan-Feng Bai, Xiu-Juan Qi, Jin-Yong Chen, Cui-Guo Wei, Miao-Miao Lin and Jin-Bao Fang

To select resistant germplasm resources and understand the growth and physiological responses of kiwifruit (Actinidia sp.) to drought stress, five species, Actinidia macrosperma (Acma), Actinidia longicarpa (Aclo), Actinidia deliciosa (Acde), Actinidia hemsleyana (Ache), and Actinidia valvata (Acva), were assessed under tissue culture conditions. Rootless seedlings of five species were cultured in a medium containing polyethylene glycol [PEG (formula weight 8000)] to induce drought stress (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%). After a 30-day culture, three growth indices [fresh weight (FW), plant height (PLH), and leaf number (LN)] and six physiological indices were determined, and the drought damage index (DDI) was determined. The DDIs of five species increased, and three growth indices decreased with increasing PEG concentrations. The following changes were observed under 20% PEG treatment conditions: superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities increased significantly in Acma, Aclo, and Ache specimens; peroxidase (POX) activities remained stable in Acde, Ache, and Acva specimens; and catalase (CAT) activities increased sharply in Acma and Acva. Furthermore, the results indicated that soluble sugar (SS) content increased slightly in Acma, Aclo, Acde, and Ache but it decreased in Acva specimens. Proline (PRO) content increased significantly in Acma and Acva, and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents tended to increase under drought stress in all five species. Principal component analysis (PCA) results indicated that the order of drought tolerance in the five genotypes examined in this study under tissue culture conditions was as follows: Acma > Acva > Acde > Aclo > Ache. Therefore, we concluded that Acma and Acva are more resilient germplasm resources that represent promising kiwifruit-breeding materials. Furthermore, tolerance to drought stress in these species should be further investigated under orchard conditions.