Seed tests reveal ultraviolet benefit

Exposing vegetable seedlings to ultraviolet light early in their development can improve their cropping at maturity, research at Lancaster University has found.

PhD researcher Dr Eslam Elfadly, sponsored by horticultural materials supplier bpi.visqueen and in partnership with Arid Agritec, found that propagating lettuce and bell pepper under film that is transparent to natural ultraviolet light led to plants with broader and thicker leaves and increased pigmentation, and later to improved plant growth and yield.

According to Elfadly: "This raises fundamental questions regarding the mechanisms by which exposure to ultraviolet light during the initial propagation phase can bring about changes that persist many weeks afterwards through to cropping."


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