Supplemental LED lighting affects the dynamics of tomato fruit growth and composition

Julienne Fanwoua, Gilles Vercambre*, Gerhard Buck-Sorlin, Anja Dieleman, Pieter de Visser, Michel Génard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding how greenhouse crops respond to supplemental lighting with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) compared with traditional lighting systems is essential to utilize the full potential of LEDs and their further adoption in energy efficient greenhouses. This study quantified the effects of supplemental lighting with high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps and LED light on the dynamics of fruit growth and composition in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Two tomato genotypes (‘Foundation’ and ‘Progression’) were grown under daylight supplemented either with HPS (125 μmol m−2 s−1) combined with red/blue LED lighting (106 μmol m−2 s−1, HPS + LED light treatment) or red/blue LED light only (106 + 110 μmol m−2 s−1, LED + LED light treatment); and two genotypes (‘Foundation’ and ‘NUN09204’) under daylight supplemented either with red/blue LED light (200 μmol m−2 s−1, red/blue LED light treatment) or red/blue LED + far-red LED light (200 μmol m−2 s−1 + 40 μmol m−2 s−1, red/blue + far-red LED light treatment). Fresh weight and composition in glucose, fructose, sucrose, starch, citric acid and malic acid of tomato fruits at different stages of development were measured and analyzed in terms of three main underlying components: water dilution, dilution by soluble and storage compounds and metabolism. Growing fruits under the LED + LED compared to the HPS + LED light treatments increased average fruit fresh weight in all genotypes. The red/blue + far-red LED light treatment increased the production of soluble sugar, increased the dilution by soluble and storage compounds, and reduced water dilution leading to a strong increase in glucose, fructose and sucrose concentration in the pericarp. The LED + LED light treatment did not affect the metabolism of fruit biochemical compounds compared to the HPS + LED light treatments, but caused small changes in water dilution, which were reflected in the concentration of biochemical compounds. Dilution and metabolism were involved in genotypic differences in fruit composition. Our results show that altering the spectral composition of the supplemental light in energy efficient greenhouses can be done without an effect on fruit quality or even with an improvement of tomato fruit quality. Possible physiological processes underlying these light-induced changes in fruit biochemical compounds during fruit development in different genotypes were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108571
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019


  • Acid
  • Dilution
  • Fruit quality
  • Light-emitting diodes
  • Metabolism
  • Sugar
  • Tomato fruit


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