This study focused on the physiology, growth and antioxidant activity response of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) under sole-source LED lighting of differing spectra. Lighting spectra were provided by differing combinations of LEDs of three different peak wavelengths, (Blue 435, Blue 450, and Red 663 nm) with ratios of B450/R663: 1.25 ± 0.1, B450/R663: 1.25 ± 0.1, and B450/R663 1:1 at two light intensities of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) (270 μmol m−2 s−1 and 60 μmol m−2 s−1). A further experiment was conducted, in which Blue and Red LEDs were supplemented with Green (Blue 450, Red 663, and Green 520 nm) with ratios of B435/R663: 1.25 ± 0.1, B450/R663/G520: 1/0.73/0.26, and B450/R663: 1.25 ± 0.1. LED light intensities under the different spectra were adjusted to deliver the same level of PAR (270 ± 20 μmol m−2 s−1). Results from the first experiment showed that increased fraction of blue 435 nm in combination with red light at 663 nm at high irradiance enhanced the physiology of lettuce (i.e., significantly increased assimilation rate, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate) and increased the yield while having no significant effect on antioxidant activity. At the lower irradiance, the B435/R663 significantly increased antioxidant activity compared to other spectra. Results from the second experiment showed no significant effect of the spectra of LEDs on the physiology and yield of lettuce, but antioxidant activity was very significantly induced by B450/R663 at the ratio of 1.25 ± 0.1. However, the amount was still less than that obtained by B435/R663 1.25 ± 0.1 from the first experiment. This study indicates that LED light with a spectrum of B435/R663 at a ratio of 1.25 ± 0.1 significantly improves lettuce yield and antioxidant activity.



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School of Biological and Marine Sciences