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Review Article|01 Sep 2018|OPEN
Using light to improve commercial value
Matthew Alan Jones1
1School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK

Horticulture Research 5,
Article number: 47 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2018.47
Views: 590

Received: 20 Feb 2018
Revised: 24 Apr 2018
Accepted: 02 May 2018
Published online: 01 Sep 2018


The plasticity of plant morphology has evolved to maximize reproductive fitness in response to prevailing environmental conditions. Leaf architecture elaborates to maximize light harvesting, while the transition to flowering can either be accelerated or delayed to improve an individual’s fitness. One of the most important environmental signals is light, with plants using light for both photosynthesis and as an environmental signal. Plants perceive different wavelengths of light using distinct photoreceptors. Recent advances in LED technology now enable light quality to be manipulated at a commercial scale, and as such opportunities now exist to take advantage of plants’ developmental plasticity to enhance crop yield and quality through precise manipulation of a crops’ lighting regime. This review will discuss how plants perceive and respond to light, and consider how these specific signaling pathways can be manipulated to improve crop yield and quality.