Yield, resource use efficiency or flavour:trade-offs of varying blue-to-red lighting ratio in urban plant factories

Zhou, Hao and Beynon-Davies, Rhydian and Carslaw, Nicola and Dodd, Ian and Ashworth, Kirsti (2022) Yield, resource use efficiency or flavour:trade-offs of varying blue-to-red lighting ratio in urban plant factories. Scientia Horticulturae, 295. ISSN 0304-4238

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With increasing urbanisation and consumer concerns over food miles, indoor urban plant factories are gaining popularity. These offer precise regulation of the crop environment, but optimal light requirements vary between species and according to grower specifications. Here we introduce a novel assessment framework to optimise light quality in urban plant factories accounting for yield, resource use efficiency and flavour, factors that have only been studied separately in previous research. Yield, water and energy use efficiency and flavour of sweet basil ( Ocimum basilicum cv. Genovese) and tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum cv. Micro-Tom) were determined for plants grown supplied with 100% blue, 66% blue + 33% red, 33% blue + 66% red, or 100% red lighting. In both species, 66% red and 100% red optimised water use efficiency and energy use respectively. For basil, 100% blue light maximised leaf biomass, while 66% red enhanced leaf flavouring volatiles. In Micro-Tom, all treatments produced similar fruit biomass, but 100% red light enhanced flavour-related volatiles in foliage. By considering trade-offs between yield, efficiency and flavour, growers can select bespoke lighting treatments to optimise their product according to specific market demands and minimise environmental impacts.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Scientia Horticulturae
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Scientia Horticulturae. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Scientia Horticulturae, 295, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2021.110802
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Deposited On:
13 Dec 2021 14:50
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 01:59