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A comparison of consistent UV treatment versus inconsistent UV treatment in horticultural production of lettuce

M. Weiland1,2, C.F. Weßler3,2, T. Filler4, J. Glaab4, N. Lobo Ploch4, U. Winterwerber4, M. Wiesner‑Reinhold2, M. Schreiner2, S. Neugart5

Published in:

Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1611-1624, doi:10.1007/s43630-023-00402-8 (2023).


UV radiation is an underrated radiation currently missing in many horticultural production systems of vegetables in protected cultivation. It can be added e.g., in LED light sources. Using lettuce as a model plant, this study determined whether the use of UVB LEDs is suitable (1) for use in consistent systems (indoor farming) or (2) inconsistent systems (greenhouse). Blue and red LEDs were selected as additional artificial lighting to UVB LEDs. Both approaches led to a reproducible increase of desired flavonol glycosides, such as quercetin-3-O-(6′′-O-malonyl)-glucoside or quercetin-3-O-glucuronide and the anthocyanin cyanidin-3-O-(6′′-O-malonyl)-glucoside in lettuce. The impact of the consistent UVB treatment is higher with up to tenfold changes than that of the inconsistent UVB treatment in the greenhouse. Varying natural light and temperature conditions in greenhouses might affect the efficiency of the artificial UVB treatment. Here, UVB LEDs have been tested and can be recommended for further development of lighting systems in indoor farming and greenhouse approaches.

1 Institute for Biology, Experimental Biophysics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstr. 42, 10115 Berlin, Germany
2 Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops e.v., Plant Quality and Food Security, Theodor-Echtermeyer-Weg 1, 14979 Grossbeeren, Germany
3 Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Herrenhäuser Straße 2, 30419 Hannover, Germany
4 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH), Gustav-Kirchhoff-Str. 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany
5 Division Quality and Sensory of Plant Products, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Carl-Sprengel-Weg 1, 37075 Goettingen, Germany


UVB, Vertical farming, Anthocyanins, Flavonoid glycosides, Hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives

© The Author(s) 2023
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