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Effects of growth under different light spectra on subsequent high light tolerance in rose plants

Light is the original source of energy for plant photosynthesis and growth, but it also acts as a signal for morphogenesis and many other physiological processes. Different characteristics of light (spectral composition, intensity, duration and direction) can influence plant growth and development, and although photosynthesis is by definition a light-dependent process; it is negatively influenced by high light intensities. A recent study by Bayat et al. and published in AoBP investigated whether early growth of roses (Rosa hybrida) under monochromatic (one wavelength) or combinational (multiple wavelengths) lights could influence plant responses to high light later in development.

Experimental setup of Bayat <em>et al.</em>
Representative images showing plants (A) that were grown for 3 weeks under different light spectra [blue (B), red (R), white (W) and red and blue (RB)], growth chambers that were used for growing plants under 250 (B) and 1500 (C) µmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. Image credit: Bayat et al.

Rose plants were grown under different light spectra (monochromatic red, monochromatic blue, 70:30% red:blue or white) and were then exposed to high light (1500 μmol photons m−2 s−1) for 12 h. Roses grew well under monochromatic light (red and blue) but were more sensitive to subsequent high light stress than plants grown under combinational light. Increased concentrations of carbohydrates (sugars and starch) were found in the leaves of plants grown in combinational light. Anthocyanin degradation upon exposure to high light was also reduced in these plants, helping to screen the photosynthetic apparatus from direct light induced damage. Favourable lighting solutions for rose production have attracted much attention in the last decade due to the increased availability and lower cost of LED lighting, and this study highlights the importance of using combination light sources over monochromatic red or blue lighting.

Researcher highlight

Sasan Aliniaeifard

Sasan Aliniaeifard completed a PhD. in horticultural plant physiology under the supervision of Dr. Uulke van Meeteren and Professor Ernst Woltering at Wageningen University in the Netherlands in 2014. He is now an Assistant Professor of horticultural plant physiology in the University of Tehran, Iran.

Sasan is a plant physiologist interested in identifying plant responses to light environment and optimizing the lighting environment of plant factory systems. His team has also investigated responses of horticultural plants to a number of environmental stresses when plants are exposed to different light environments. He is the Managing Editor for the International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology and the convener of the International Symposium on Cut Flowers.

Written by William Salter

William (Tam) Salter is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Institute of Agriculture at the University of Sydney. He has a bachelor degree in Ecological Science (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in plant ecophysiology from the University of Sydney. Tam is interested in the identification and elucidation of plant traits that could be useful for ecosystem resilience and future food security under global environmental change. He also has an active interest in effective scientific communication.

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