Sprout Growth Inhibition and Photomorphogenic Development of Potato Seed Tubers ( Solanum tuberosum L.) Under Different LED Light Colours


Green-sprouting potato seed tubers in light and elevated temperatures are vital for production in short-season climates. Using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to inhibit sprout elongation during pre-sprouting may represent an energy-efficient alternative to traditional indoor light sources. Sprout growth inhibition and some photomorphogenic responses were therefore examined in potato cultivars exposed to LEDs of different wavelength maxima and irradiance rates. Red LED (660 nm) produced the strongest inhibition of sprout elongation at very low irradiances 10–100 nmol m−2 s−1, while far-red LED (735 nm) produced the strongest inhibition at higher irradiances. This inhibitory pattern was similar in all cultivars, although the degree of inhibition varied. The colour of sprouts and tuber skin remained etiolated under far-red LED, in contrast to LEDs between 380 and 660 nm which developed green colour intensity in an irradiance-dependent manner. Mixtures of red and far-red light, and pulses including red/far-red reversals did not produce stronger inhibition, except in some instances where total fluence was increased. Furthermore, green-sprouting under different LED colours did not seem to affect subsequent emergence and growth after planting. The current results suggest an involvement of multiple phytochromes in de-etiolation and sprout growth inhibition in seed potato tubers, which may be selectively utilised in LED-based green-sprouting in red and far-red wavelengths.