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Article|12 Mar 2014|OPEN
Sequential light programs shape kale (Brassica napus) sprout appearance and alter metabolic and nutrient content
Sofia D Carvalho1 and Kevin M Folta,1,2 ,
1Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
2Plant Innovation Program, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail: Kevin M Folta

Horticulture Research 1,
Article number: 8 (2014)
Views: 721

Received: 31 Oct 2013
Accepted: 17 Dec 2013
Published online: 12 Mar 2014


Different light wavelengths have specific effects on plant growth and development. Narrow-bandwidth light-emitting diode (LED) lighting may be used to directionally manipulate size, color and metabolites in high-value fruits and vegetables. In this report, Red Russian kale (Brassica napus) seedlings were grown under specific light conditions and analyzed for photomorphogenic responses, pigment accumulation and nutraceutical content. The results showed that this genotype responds predictably to darkness, blue and red light, with suppression of hypocotyl elongation, development of pigments and changes in specific metabolites. However, these seedlings were relatively hypersensitive to far-red light, leading to uncharacteristically short hypocotyls and high pigment accumulation, even after growth under very low fluence rates (<1 μmol m−2 s−1). General antioxidant levels and aliphatic glucosinolates are elevated by far-red light treatments. Sequential treatments of darkness, blue light, red light and far-red light were applied throughout sprout development to alter final product quality. These results indicate that sequential treatment with narrow-bandwidth light may be used to affect key economically important traits in high-value crops.