Effects of LED Light Spectra on the Development, Phytochemical Profile, and Antioxidant Activity of Curcuma longa from Easter Island

María José Marchant, Paula Molina, Miriam Montecinos, Leda Guzmán, Cristóbal Balada, Mónica Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Curcuma longa (C. longa), an herbaceous plant used for medicinal purposes by the indigenous people of Easter Island, has been overexploited in its natural habitat, leading to its conservation status being designated as a vulnerable species. We have recently reported on the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to improve the productivity of C. longa in vitro cultures under a temporary immersion system (TIS), but the effects of light quality on plant growth, phytochemical composition, and antioxidant capacity remained unexplored. Here, we set out to study these three aspects as observed at the end of TIS culture (day 0) and after 30 days of greenhouse acclimation (day 30). Thus, we evaluated plant morphological characteristics, phytochemical profile (polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, reducing sugars, and curcumin), and radical scavenging activity by DPPH, ORAC, and FRAP assays. The results showed that, during in vitro cultivation under TIS, the red:blue (RB) LED light spectrum promoted C. longa shoot proliferation, with the resulting seedlings exhibiting greater fresh weight and no signs of etiolation. In the acclimation phase, the RB spectrum increased phytochemicals, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and reducing sugars, and boosted curcumin synthesis. Nevertheless, the antioxidant activity of the plants under the RB light spectrum did not intensify. We surmise that this may be due to the premature intraplant allocation of metabolites to alternative pathways (e.g., curcumin synthesis) under RB light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2701
JournalPlants
Volume11
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • LED lighting
  • medicinal plants
  • radical scavenging activity
  • Rapa Nui
  • secondary metabolites
  • turmeric

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of LED Light Spectra on the Development, Phytochemical Profile, and Antioxidant Activity of Curcuma longa from Easter Island'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this