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Abstract

Antioxidant compounds protect plants against oxidative stress caused by environmental conditions. Different light qualities, such as UV-A radiation and blue light, have shown positive effects on the production of phenols in plants. Kalanchoe pinnata (Lamarck) Persoon (Crassulaceae) is used for treating wounds and inflammations. Some of these beneficial effects are attributed to the antioxidant activity of plant components. We investigated the effects of blue light and UV-A radiation supplementation on the total phenol content, antioxidant activity and chromatographic profile of aqueous extracts from leaves of K. pinnata. Monoclonal plants were grown under white light, white plus blue light and white plus UV-A radiation. Supplemental blue light improved the antioxidant activity and changed the phenolic profile of the extracts. Analysis by HPLC of supplemental blue-light plant extracts revealed a higher proportion of the major flavonoid quercetin 3-O-α-l-arabinopyranosyl (1[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]2) α-l-rhamnopyranoside, as well as the presence of a wide variety of other phenolic substances. These findings may explain the higher antioxidant activity observed for this extract. Blue light is proposed as a supplemental light source in the cultivation of K. pinnata, to improve its antioxidant activity.