Periodicity and Spectral Composition of Light in the Regulation of Hypocotyl Elongation of Sunflower Seedlings

Vinterhalter D., Vinterhalter B., Motyka V.
PLANTS 11: 1982, 2022

Keywords: Diurnal photoperiods; free-running photoperiods; monochromatic LED light; rhythmicity of hypocotyl elongation; light entrainment
Abstract: This study presents the hypocotyl elongation of sunflower seedlings germinated under different light conditions. Elongation was rhythmic under diurnal (LD) photoperiods but uniform (arrhythmic) under free-running conditions of white light (LL) or darkness (DD). On the sixth day after the onset of germination, seedlings were entrained in all diurnal photoperiods. Their hypocotyl elongation was dual, showing different kinetics in daytime and nighttime periods. The daytime elongation peak was around midday and 1–2 h after dusk in the nighttime. Plantlets compensated for the differences in the daytime and nighttime durations and exhibited similar overall elongation rates, centered around the uniform elongation in LL conditions. Thus, plants from diurnal photoperiods and LL could be grouped together as white-light treatments that suppressed hypocotyl elongation. Hypocotyl elongation was significantly higher under DD than under white-light photoperiods. In continuous monochromatic blue, yellow, green, or red light, hypocotyl elongation was also uniform and very high. The treatments with monochromatic light and DD had similar overall elongation rates; thus, they could be grouped together. Compared with white light, monochromatic light promoted hypocotyl elongation. Suppression of hypocotyl elongation and rhythmicity reappeared in some combination with two or more monochromatic light colors. The presence of red light was obligatory for this suppression. Plantlets entrained in diurnal photoperiods readily slipped from rhythmic into uniform elongation if they encountered any kind of free-running conditions. These transitions occurred whenever the anticipated duration of daytime or nighttime was extended more than expected, or when plantlets were exposed to constant monochromatic light. This study revealed significant differences in the development of sunflower plantlets illuminated with monochromatic or white light.
DOI: 10.3390/plants11151982
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IEB authors: Václav Motyka