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Open access

Qinglu Ying, Yun Kong and Youbin Zheng

To facilitate machine harvest for labor savings, the height of microgreens needs to reach ≈5 cm. Recent studies indicate that monochromatic blue light (B) can promote stem elongation similar to far-red light (FR). To examine whether nighttime B treatments can promote plant elongation without compromising yield and quality, mustard (Brassica juncea) and arugula (Eruca sativa) microgreens were grown under different light-emitting diode (LED) lighting regimes in a growth chamber. The 16-hour daytime lighting comprised 20% B and 80% red light (R), and had a total photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 300 µmol·m–2·s–1 at canopy level. During the 8-hour nighttime, the plants were exposed to the following treatments: 1) dark (D) as one control; 2) 4 hours of B at 40 µmol·m–2·s–1 followed by 4 hours of darkness (40B-D); 3) 4 hours of darkness followed by 4 hours of B at 40 µmol·m–2·s–1 (D-40B); 4) 8 hours of B at 20 µmol·m–2·s–1 (20B); 5) 8 hours of B + FR, and each of them at 20 µmol·m–2·s–1 (20B20FR); and 6) 8 hours of FR at 20 µmol·m–2·s–1 (20FR) as another control. The plants were harvested after 11 days of treatment. Nighttime B treatments (40B-D, D-40B, and 20B), compared with D, increased plant height by 34% and 18% for mustard and arugula, respectively, with no difference among the three B treatments. The combination of B and FR (20B20FR), compared with B alone, further increased plant height by 6% and 15% for mustard and arugula, respectively, and showed a similar promotion effect as 20FR. Plant height did not meet the machine harvest requirement for both species with the D treatment, but did so for mustard with the nighttime B treatments and for arugula with the 20B20FR treatment. There was no difference in biomass among all treatments except that 20B, compared with D, increased the fresh weight (FW) of arugula by 12%, showing a similar promotion effect as 20FR. Despite a greater promotion effect on elongation than B alone, 20FR reduced the leaf index compared with D. However, B alone or the 20B20FR treatment increased leaf thickness compared with D, and increased chlorophyll content index (CCI), leaf index, dry matter content, and leaf thickness to varying degree with species, compared with 20FR. Overall, nighttime B alone, or its combination with FR, promoted microgreen elongation without compromising yield and quality.

Free access

Ying Kong, Ming Sun, Hui-tang Pan and Qi-xiang Zhang

Floral scents emitted from eight cultivars of cut lily flowers (Lilium) were analyzed. Floral volatiles were collected by headspace adsorption on sorbent tubes and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using a direct thermal desorption. Fifty volatile compounds were identified. Nine compounds were detected in all lilies, whereas 20 compounds were detected in all scented lilies. The results revealed that non-scented lilies emitted trace amounts of volatile compounds, whereas scented lilies emitted high levels of volatile compounds. Monoterpenoids and benzenoids were the dominant compound classes of volatiles emitted from scented lilies. Myrcene, (E)-β-ocimene, linalool, methyl benzoate, and ethyl benzoate were the major compounds of the aroma of scented lilies; 1,8-cineole was also a major compound in the two scented oriental × trumpet hybrid lilies. Scent emissions occurred in a circadian rhythm with higher levels of volatiles emitted during the night. Lilium ‘Siberia’ was selected as a model to investigate the source of the emissions. GC/MS analysis of four flower parts and neutral red staining revealed that tepals were the source of floral scent.

Free access

Ying Kong, Jinrong Bai, Lixin Lang, Fang Bao, Xiaoying Dou, Huan Wang and Hongzhong Shang

Lilium cultivars have a wide range of variation in floral scent phenotypes. Using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses of volatile emissions during the night, the floral scent compositions of 35 lily cultivars from seven different hybrid groups were studied. The results showed that there was a positive correlation between volatile emission levels and scent intensities. Nonscented lily cultivars belonging to Asiatic hybrids hardly emitted volatiles, light-scented Longiflorum × Asiatic hybrids emitted low levels of volatiles, and scented lily cultivars (belonging to Oriental, Trumpet, Longiflorum, Longiflorum × Oriental, and Oriental × Trumpet hybrids) emitted significantly high levels of volatiles. In general, the scent compositions of lily cultivars were similar within the same hybrid group, and the differences among hybrid groups reflect their pedigree. Monoterpenoids and benzenoids dominated the floral scents of most volatile-emitting lily cultivars, whereas monoterpenoids alone dominated the floral scents of some volatile-emitting lilies. Although various scent compounds were released from volatile-emitting lily cultivars, the dominant scent compounds were focused on three monoterpenoids [1.8-cineole, linalool, and (E)-β-ocimene] and one benzenoid (methyl benzoate). The scent traits of lily cultivars could be traced back to their parents.

Free access

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.

Open access

Xiaoying Dou, Jinrong Bai, Huan Wang, Ying Kong, Lixin Lang, Fang Bao and Hongzhong Shang

Anthocyanins are major pigments responsible for the color of lily (Lilium sp.) flowers. Anthocyanin synthesis is part of the flavonoid metabolic pathway. Numerous transcription factors, including R2R3-MYBs, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH), and tryptophan–aspartic acid repeat (also known as WD40 or WD repeat) proteins, known to regulate flavonoid biosynthesis have been identified in various plant species. However, there is limited information available on WD repeat proteins in lilies. In this study, we identified a WD repeat gene in the Oriental hybrid lily ‘Sorbonne’ (Lilium hybrid WD repeat, LhWDR). LhWDR contains no introns, and has a 1100–base pair open reading frame, encoding a putative protein of 370 amino acids. LhWDR was found to be localized in the cytoplasm of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana root cells. Expression patterns of LhWDR in different organs and at different periods of lily tepal growth revealed that the expression levels of this gene are closely associated with anthocyanin accumulation. A yeast two-hybrid assay demonstrated that full-length LhWDR interacts with the 420 N-terminal amino acids of Lilium hybrid bHLH2. Interestingly, overexpression of LhWDR in A. thaliana led to an upregulation of the dihydroflavonol 4-reductase gene, which is an important structural gene downstream of the anthocyanin pathway. These results indicate that the WD repeat protein LhWDR might interact with a bHLH transcription factor to regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis.