Biomass production and pigment accumulation in kale grown under increasing photoperiods

Mark G. Lefsrud, Dean A. Kopsell, Robert M. Augé, A. J. Both

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Consumption of fruit and vegetable crops rich in lutein and β-carotene carotenoids is associated with reduced risk of cancers and aging eye diseases. Kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala D.C.) ranks highest for lutein concentrations and is an excellent source of dietary carotenoids. Kale plants were grown under varied photoperiods to determine changes in the accumulation of fresh and dry biomass, chlorophyll a and b, and lutein and β-carotene carotenoids. The plants were cultured in a controlled environment using nutrient solutions under photoperiod treatments of 6, 12, 16, or 24 hours (continuous). Fresh and dry mass production increased linearly as photoperiod increased, reaching a maximum under the 24-hour photoperiod. Maximum accumulation of lutein, β-carotene, and chlorophyll 6 occurred under the 24-h photoperiod at 13.5, 10.4, and 58.6 mg/100 g fresh mass, respectively. However, maximum chlorophyll a (235.1 mg/100 g fresh mass) occurred under the 12-hour photoperiod. When β-carotene and lutein were measured on a dry mass basis, the maximum accumulation was shifted to the 16-hour photoperiod. An increase in photoperiod resulted in increased pigment accumulation, but maximum concentrations of pigments were not correlated with maximum biomass production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-606
Number of pages4
JournalHortScience
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

Keywords

  • Brassica oleracea
  • Carotenoid
  • Chlorophyll
  • Irradiance
  • Lutein
  • β-carotene

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