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A high proportion of blue light increases the photosynthesis capacity and leaf formation rate of Rosa × hybrida but does not affect time to flower opening



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Alterations in light quality affect plant morphogenesis and photosynthetic responses but the effects vary significantly between species. Roses exhibit an irradiance-dependent flowering control but knowledge on light quality responses is scarce. In this study we analyzed, the responses in morphology, photosynthesis and flowering of Rosa × hybrida to different blue (B) light proportions provided by light-emitting diodes (LED, high B 20%) and high pressure sodium (HPS, low B 5%) lamps. There was a strong morphological and growth effect of the light sources but no significant difference in total dry matter production and flowering. HPS-grown plants had significantly higher leaf area and plant height, yet a higher dry weight proportion was allocated to leaves than stems under LED. LED plants showed 20% higher photosynthetic capacity (Amax) and higher levels of soluble carbohydrates. The increase in Amax correlated with an increase in leaf mass per unit leaf area, higher stomata conductance and CO2 exchange, total chlorophyll (Chl) content per area and Chl a/b ratio. LED-grown leaves also displayed a more sun-type leaf anatomy with more and longer palisade cells and a higher stomata frequency. Although floral initiation occurred at a higher leaf number in LED, the time to open flowers was the same under both light conditions. Thereby the study shows that a higher portion of B light is efficient in increasing photosynthesis performance per unit leaf area, enhancing growth and morphological changes in roses but does not affect the total Dry Matter (DM) production or time to open flower.