To investigate the effect of the light spectrum on photosynthesis, growth, and secondary metabolites Rosa hybrida ‘Scarlet’, Chrysanthemum morifolium ‘Coral Charm’, and Campanula portenschlagiana ‘BluOne’ were grown at 24/18 ◦C day/night temperature under purpose-built LED arrays yielding approximately 200 mol m−2 s−1 at plant height for 16 h per day. The four light treatments were (1) 40% Blue/60% Red, (2) 20% Blue/80% Red, (3) 100% Red, and (4) 100% White (Control). The plant height was smallest in 40% Blue/60% Red in roses and chrysanthemums, while the biomass was smallest in the white control in roses and in 100% Red in chrysanthemums. The total biomass was unaffected by the spectrum in campanulas, while the leaf area was smallest in the 40% Blue/60% Red treatment. In 100% Red curled leaves and other morphological abnormalities were observed. Increasing the blue to red ratio increased the stomatal conductance though net photosynthesis was unaffected, indicating excess stomatal conductance in some treatments. With higher blue light ratio all phenolic acids and flavonoids increased. In view of the roles of these secondary metabolites as antioxidants, anti-pathogens, and light protectants, we hypothesize that blue light may predispose plants to better cope with stress.
Journal of Plant Physiology, 2014, Vol 171, Issue 16, p. 1491-1499