End-of-day far-red light quality and dose requirements for tomato rootstock hypocotyl elongation

Po Lung Chia, Chieri Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Plant morphology control is a critical technique in commercial greenhouse transplant production. Light treatment at the end of the day affects a phytochromeregulated response affecting plant height among other characteristics and has been studied by biologists for many years. Recognizing the need to produce long hypocotyls in vegetable grafting, effects of end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR) light on tomato rootstock hypocotyl elongation were investigated. Two commercial rootstock cultivars, Aloha (Solanum lycopersicum) and Maxifort (S. lycopersicum × S. habrochaites), were used for the experiments examining responses to EOD-FR light quality [red to far-red ratio (R/ FR)] and EOD-FR light dose in a greenhouse environment. In the EOD-FR light quality experiment using 'Aloha' seedlings, incandescent light (R/FR = 0.47) induced significant hypocotyl elongation (20%) compared with the untreated control. Incandescent light with a spectral cut filter (reducing R/FR to 0.05) induced a greater hypocotyl elongation (44%) than unfiltered light, confirming the importance of use of light with a lower R/FR (or purer FR) light source in EOD-FR treatments. In the experiment on EOD-FR light dose-response, hypocotyl elongation of both 'Aloha' and 'Maxifort' was increased by increasing FR intensity as well as FR treatment duration at a lower dose range. The dose saturation curve of hypocotyl length was well described using a Michaelis-Menten-type model with FR dose (in mmol·m-2·d-1) as an independent variable. The model-based estimation of 90% saturating FR light dose for 'Aloha' and 'Maxifort' was 5 to 14 mmol·m-2·d-1 and 8 to 15 mmol·m-2·d-1, respectively, although practical near saturation dose seems to be 2 to 4 mmol·m-2·d-1 for both cultivars. None of the EOD-FR treatments affected plant dry weight, stem diameter, or plastochron index. Hence, elongation was achieved without compromising growth and development. EOD-FR was shown to be an effective non-chemical means allowing transplant propagation industry to produce long hypocotyls for grafting use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1501-1506
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Controlled environment
  • Grafting
  • Incandescent light
  • LED
  • Phytochrome
  • Transplant production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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