Background. Anoectochilus roxburghii is a widespread herbaceous plant with high medicinal value. Wild A. roxburghii resources are facing extinction due to their slow growth rate and over-exploitation. The growing market demand has led to advances in the field of artificial planting of A. roxburghii. Methods to increase the economic benefits of cultivation and the production of medicinal ingredients are thus very useful.
Methods. A. roxburghii was exposed to red light (RL), blue light (BL), yellow light (YL), green light (GL) or white light (WL) as supplemental lighting at night (18:00-02:00) in a greenhouse or was left in darkness (control, CK) to investigate the effects of various light qualities on growth indices, photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll fluorescence, root vitality, stomatal density, soluble protein, sugars and accumulation of secondary metabolites.
Results. Supplementation of BL had a positive effect on A. roxburghii growth, and secondary metabolite accumulation, leaf number, stem diameter, fresh weight, dry weight, chlorophyll a content , and secondary metabolite (total flavonoids, total polyphenols) content increased significantly. YL treatment showed significantly higher soluble sugar and polysaccharide contents.
Discussion. BL treatment was conducive to promoting the growth and accumulation of secondary metabolites (total flavonoids, total polyphenols); YL treatment caused the content of soluble sugar and polysaccharides to increase significantly. Polysaccharides are an important medicinal ingredient in Anoectochilus, so future research will focus on the combination of blue and yellow light.
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