Forschungszentrum Jülich

Impact of Dynamic Light

"With the Heliospectra LEDs, we can program dynamic changes in the light intensity which is not possible with other conventional light fixtures. We have the capability of determining what the plant response would be under specific wavelengths...The Heliospectra lights allow us to select only certain wavelengths and manipulate the intensity of only those wavelengths."
Dr. Shizue Matsubara, Senior Researcher

Problem:

Knowing that previous research was limited to photosynthesis and photo acclimation under constant light, Dr. Matsubara wanted the ability to program rapid and dynamic changes (fluctuations) in light intensity to determine plant response. A flexible light source for growth chambers was difficult to find given the work required low light levels of 50 micromoles as well as high light levels over 1000 micromoles. The frequent changes in light intensity would also need to be applied quickly over a few hours, several days or weeks.

Solution: 

Selecting Heliospectra's adjustable spectrum LEDs for the capability to program and adjust both light intensity and individual wavelengths, Dr. Matsubara also recognized that LEDs emit far less heat than other light sources.

Excess heat could affect plants and leaf temperature for experiments and more importantly, the heat needs to be cooled and controlled inside the growth chambers to maintain optimal growing conditions.

“The Heliospectra LEDs do not generate much heat compared with conventional strong light sources. This allows us to study the effect of light intensity on plants separate from the effects of heat."

Results: 

Dr. Matsubara and her research team at Forschungszentrum Jülich found a way to apply dynamic light fluctuations in the growth chamber to selectively enhance a defense response in plants. Longer term goals include using dynamic light intensity to help plants better cope with abiotic and biotic stress conditions in natural environments.

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