Blue and Red LED Illumination Improves Growth and Bioactive Compounds Contents in Acyanic and Cyanic Ocimum basilicum L. Microgreens.
Molecules. 2017 Nov 30 ;22(12). Epub 2017 Nov 30. PMID: 29189746
Microgreens are an excellent source of health-maintaining compounds, and the accumulation of these compounds in plant tissues may be stimulated by exogenous stimuli. While light quality effects on green basil microgreens are known, the present paper aims at improving the quality of acyanic (green) and cyanic (red) basil microgreens with different ratios of LED blue and red illumination. Growth, assimilatory and anthocyanin pigments, chlorophyll fluorescence, total phenolic, flavonoids, selected phenolic acid contents and antioxidant activity were assessed in microgreens grown for 17 days. Growth of microgreens was enhanced with predominantly blue illumination, larger cotyledon area and higher fresh mass. The same treatment elevated chlorophyll a and anthocyanin pigments contents. Colored light treatments decreased chlorophyll fluorescenceΦPSII values significantly in the green cultivar. Stimulation of phenolic synthesis and free radical scavenging activity were improved by predominantly red light in the green cultivar (up to 1.87 fold) and by predominantly blue light in the red cultivar (up to 1.73 fold). Rosmarinic and gallic acidsynthesis was higher (up to 15- and 4-fold, respectively, compared to white treatment) in predominantly blue illumination. Red and blue LED ratios can be tailored to induce superior growth and phenolic contents in both red and green basil microgreens, as a convenient tool for producing higher quality foods.