CONTINUOUS LIGHT AS A WAY TO INCREASE GREENHOUSE TOMATO PRODUCTION: EXPECTED CHALLENGES
Tomato plants need six hours of darkness per day for optimal growth; therefore, photosynthesis does not take place for 25% of the day. If tomatoes could be grown under continuous light, a substantial increase in production is expected. In practice, however, continuous light-grown tomato plants develop a potentially lethal mottled chlorosis. Such continuous-light-induced injury is only poorly understood so far. Recently, we proposed a number of hypotheses that aim to explain the continuous-light-induced injury, and rediscovered that wild-tomato species were reported as continuous-light-tolerant. Here, we (i) present a simulation study which shows that if an ideal continuous-light-tolerant tomato genotype is used and no crop adaptations to continuous light are assumed, greenhouse tomato production could be 26% higher when using supplementary lighting for 24 h day-1 in comparison with using supplementary lighting only for 18 h day-1 during day time, and (ii) discuss expected changes in greenhouse energy budgets and alterations in crop physiological responses that might arise from cultivating tomatoes under continuous light.
Velez-Ramirez, A.I., Heuvelink , E., van Ieperen, W., Vreugdenhil, D. and Millenaar, F.F. 2012. CONTINUOUS LIGHT AS A WAY TO INCREASE GREENHOUSE TOMATO PRODUCTION: EXPECTED CHALLENGES. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 956:51-57
continuous light, Solanum lycopersicum, chlorosis, greenhouse, supplementary light