Xenon lamps used for fruit surface sterilization can increase the content of total flavonols in leaves of Lactuca sativa L. without any negative effect on net photosynthesis.PLoS One 2019; 14(10):e0223787Plos
One (1P), two (2P), three (3P) or four (4P) pulses of light supplied by a xenon lamp, were applied to young lettuce plants grown in pots. The lamp used in the trial was similar to those used for fruit surface sterilization. Total flavonols were measured in leaves using the Dualex method. In a first trial conducted in greenhouse conditions, 6 days after the pulsed light (PL) treatment, flavonols were increased by 312% and 525% in the 3P and 4P treatments, respectively, in comparison to the those in the untreated control. Changes in the chlorophyll fluorescence parameters suggest that the PL treatment may induce limited and transient damage to the photosynthetic machinery and that the damage increases with the increasing number of pulses. The performance parameters were not significantly affected by PL and recovered fully by 6 days after the treatments. The 1P and the 2P treatments 6 days after the treatment showed a 28.6% and a 32.5% increase, respectively, in net photosynthetic assimilation, when compared to that of the control. However, 8 days after the treatment, there was no longer a difference between the treatments and the control in net photosynthetic assimilation. Eight days after the light treatment, the 3P treatment showed a 38.4% increase in maximal net photosynthetic assimilation over that of the control, which is an indication of positive long-term adaptation of photosynthetic capacity. As a whole, our observations suggest that PL could be used on field or greenhouse crops to increase their phytochemical content. No long-lasting or strong negative effects on photosynthesis were associated with PL within the range of doses we tested; some observations even suggest that certain treatments could result in an additional positive effect. This conclusion is supported by a second trial conducted in phytotrons. More studies are required to better understand the roles of the different wavelengths supplied by PL and their interactions.