Quality and quantity of light affect stomatal development

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Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera (Solanaceae)

Photon flux density and light quality induce changes in growth, stomatal development, photosyntesis and transpiration of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal plantlets

by Lee S. H., Tewari R. K., Hahn E. J., Paek K. Y. (2007)

  • Sang-Ho Lee
  • Rajesh Kumar Tewari
  • Eun-Joo Hahn
  • Kee-Yoeup Paek

in Plant cell tiss Org. Cult, (2007) 90 (2): 141-151.- doi:10.1007/s11240-006-9191-2 –



The aim of the study was to establish whether the quantity and the quality of light affect growth and development of Withania somnifera plantlets.

We have studied growth and histo-physiological parameters [stomatal characteristics, chloroplastic pigments concentrations, photosynthesis, and transpiration (E)] of W. somnifera plantlets regenerated under various light intensities, or monochromatic light or under a mixture of two colors of light in tissue culture conditions.

Plantlets grown under a photon flux density (PFD) of 30 μmol m-2 s-1showed greater growth and development than those raised under other PFDs. Chlorophylls and carotenoids, numbers of stomata, rate of photosynthesis (PN) and transpiration (E), stomatal conductance (gs), and water use efficiency (WUE) increased with increasing the PFD up to 60 μmol m-2 s-1.

Light quality also affected plantlets growth and physiology. Highest growth was observed under fluorescent and in a mixture of blue and red light. Very few stomata were developed in any of the monochromatic light but under fluorescent or under a mixture of two colors stomatal numbers increased.

Similarly, gs, E, PN, and WUE were also higher under fluorescent light and under a mixture of red and blue light.

Regressional analysis showed a linear relationship between PN (r2 = 70) and gs and between E (r2 = 0.95) and gs.

In conclusion, both the quality and the quantity of light affect growth of plantlets, development of stomata and physiological responses differently depending on the intensity and the wavelength of light.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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