High nursery densities reduce the seedling quality due to the competition for light. High light intensity, shading, and blue light depletion activate morphophysiological and metabolomic responses in plants, resulting in size modification to gain an advantage over neighboring plants. Our research aimed to unravel the effects of light intensity and quality on nursery seedlings at the morphological and biochemical levels. To this aim, the effect of black shading and blue photoselective shading nets were investigated in terms of morphometric, ionomic, and untargeted metabolomics signatures in Cucurbita pepo L., Citrullus lanatus L., Solanum lycopersicum L., and Solanum melongena L. seedlings. Plant height, diameter, sturdiness index, leaf area, specific leaf area, shoot/root ratio, and mineral content (by ion chromatography-IC) were evaluated. In C. pepo L and C. lanatus L., the blue net reduced the shoot/root and chlorophyll a/b ratios and increased stem diameter and total chlorophyll content. The black net increased plant height, stem diameter, and sturdiness index in Solanum lycopersicum L. and Solanum melongena L. At the same time, unshading conditions reduced leaf area, specific leaf area, shoot/root ratio, and total chlorophyll content. The blue net improved the sturdiness index and quality of C. pepo L. and C. lanatus L. Such impact on morphological parameters induced by the different shading conditions was corroborated by a significant modulation at the metabolomics level. Untargeted metabolomic phytochemical signatures of the selected plants, and the subsequent multivariate analysis coupled to pathway analysis, allowed highlighting a broad and diverse biochemical modulation. Metabolomics revealed that both primary and secondary metabolism were largely affected by the different shading conditions, regardless of the species considered. A common pattern arose to point at the activation of plant energy metabolism and lipid biosynthesis, together with a generalized down accumulation of several secondary metabolites, particularly phenylpropanoids. Our findings indicate an intriguing scientific interest in the effects of selective shading and its application to other species and different phenological stages.

Between Light and Shading: Morphological, Biochemical, and Metabolomics Insights Into the Influence of Blue Photoselective Shading on Vegetable Seedlings

Formisano L.;Ciriello M.;De Pascale S.;Rouphael Y.
2022

Abstract

High nursery densities reduce the seedling quality due to the competition for light. High light intensity, shading, and blue light depletion activate morphophysiological and metabolomic responses in plants, resulting in size modification to gain an advantage over neighboring plants. Our research aimed to unravel the effects of light intensity and quality on nursery seedlings at the morphological and biochemical levels. To this aim, the effect of black shading and blue photoselective shading nets were investigated in terms of morphometric, ionomic, and untargeted metabolomics signatures in Cucurbita pepo L., Citrullus lanatus L., Solanum lycopersicum L., and Solanum melongena L. seedlings. Plant height, diameter, sturdiness index, leaf area, specific leaf area, shoot/root ratio, and mineral content (by ion chromatography-IC) were evaluated. In C. pepo L and C. lanatus L., the blue net reduced the shoot/root and chlorophyll a/b ratios and increased stem diameter and total chlorophyll content. The black net increased plant height, stem diameter, and sturdiness index in Solanum lycopersicum L. and Solanum melongena L. At the same time, unshading conditions reduced leaf area, specific leaf area, shoot/root ratio, and total chlorophyll content. The blue net improved the sturdiness index and quality of C. pepo L. and C. lanatus L. Such impact on morphological parameters induced by the different shading conditions was corroborated by a significant modulation at the metabolomics level. Untargeted metabolomic phytochemical signatures of the selected plants, and the subsequent multivariate analysis coupled to pathway analysis, allowed highlighting a broad and diverse biochemical modulation. Metabolomics revealed that both primary and secondary metabolism were largely affected by the different shading conditions, regardless of the species considered. A common pattern arose to point at the activation of plant energy metabolism and lipid biosynthesis, together with a generalized down accumulation of several secondary metabolites, particularly phenylpropanoids. Our findings indicate an intriguing scientific interest in the effects of selective shading and its application to other species and different phenological stages.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/890089
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