Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Artificial light quality affects herbivore preference for seedlings

Date:
June 22, 2011
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Researchers evaluated the preference of adult sweet potato whitefly to cucumber seedlings grown under fluorescent lamps or metal-halide lamps that provided a spectrum similar to that of natural light. They observed significantly fewer whitefly adults on the fluorescent cucumber treated seedlings than on the metal-halide treated seedlings 24 hours after release. The scientists recommended that growers consider light quality when selecting light sources for transplant production.

In horticultural production, growers often depend on systems that use artificial light to produce high-quality transplants. Although the systems are efficient, fluorescent lamps can produce plants with shorter shoots than those grown under natural light. Studies have indicated that this reduced shoot elongation is due to the high red:far red ratio of typical commercial fluorescent lamps, which emit little far red irradiation.

In natural environments a reduction in the red:far red (R:FR) ratio resulting from the absorption of red light by neighboring vegetation increases shoot elongation and leaf expansion and reduces leaf thickness and chlorophyll content. This morphologic response, called "shade avoidance," reduces plant resistance to herbivores. Observing this phenomenon, scientists questioned whether illumination by fluorescent lamps with higher-than-natural R:FR ratio could lessen plants' attractiveness to herbivores, thus reducing the need for pesticides at transplant.

Researchers in Japan tested the hypothesis with experiments that evaluated the preference of adult sweetpotato whitefly to cucumber seedlings grown under commercial fluorescent lamps or under metal-halide lamps that provided a spectrum similar to that of natural light. The results were published in HortTechnology.

Cucumber seedlings (Cucumis sativus) were grown under fluorescent lamps (FL) or under metal-halide lamps (ML) in a 12/12-hour light/dark cycle. The red:far red (R:FR) ratio of FL was 7.0 and that of ML was 1.2. Pairs of cucumber seedlings, one grown under FLs and the other under MLs, were then placed in cages and about 100 sweetpotato whitefly adults (Bemisia tabaci biotype B) were released. "There were significantly fewer whitefly adults on the cucumber seedlings grown under fluorescent lamps (36%) than on those grown under metal-halide lamps (64%) 24 hours after release," reported corresponding author Toshio Shibuya. "Additionally, FL cucumber seedlings had higher chlorophyll content and thicker leaves than ML seedlings."

"From these results, we concluded that the lower attractiveness of FL cucumber seedlings to adult sweetpotato whiteflies was probably due to changes in leaf morphologic characteristics resulting from high R:FR light of FL. The plants with lower attractiveness are possibly more resistant to herbivores," said Shibuya.

The scientists noted that growers must consider the interaction of other environmental factors such as air moisture in order to apply the results to horticultural production. They added that experiments designed to measure adult sweetpotato whitefly landing response in a no-choice situation would be necessary to further evaluate the light technology.

"The fact that light quality affects the plant attractiveness to herbivores should be considered in selecting light sources for transplant production under artificial light," concluded the researchers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Toshio Shibuya, Junki Komuro, Norio Hirai, Yoshiko Sakamoto, Ryosuke Endo and Yoshiaki Kitaya. Preference of Sweetpotato Whitefly Adults to Cucumber Seedlings Grown under Two Different Light Sources. HortTechnology, 2010 20: 873-876 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Artificial light quality affects herbivore preference for seedlings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622135221.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2011, June 22). Artificial light quality affects herbivore preference for seedlings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622135221.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Artificial light quality affects herbivore preference for seedlings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622135221.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins