LEDs Make It Resilient: Effects on Plant Growth and Defense
Light spectral composition influences plant morphology, physiology, and development by impacting on processes ranging from photosynthesis to secondary metabolism.
Signaling pathways underlying growth and defense are linked, and light spectral composition therefore influences both processes.
Light spectral composition influences the behavior of plant-feeding arthropods and their carnivorous enemies directly or via changes in plant morphology and physiology. Specific manipulation of light spectral composition in greenhouses through LEDs may optimize both crop production and crop protection, thus improving crop resilience. Light spectral composition influences plant growth and metabolism, and has important consequences for interactions with plant-feeding arthropods and their natural enemies.
In greenhouse horticulture, light spectral composition can be precisely manipulated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and LEDs are already used to optimize crop production and quality. However, because light quality also modulates plant secondary metabolism and defense, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms in the context of the growth–defense trade-off. We review the effects of the spectral composition of supplemental light currently used, or potentially used, in greenhouse horticulture on the mechanisms underlying plant growth and defense. This information is important for exploring opportunities to optimize crop performance and pest management, and thus for developing resilient crop-production systems.