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The senescence of plants is mainly reflected in leaf senescence due to chlorophyll degradation, rapid loss of proteins and hydrolysis of RNA. Chloroplasts are extremely sensitive to changes in the light environment, especially the light quality. For example, the red light, blue light, and the combination of red and blue light are conducive to the formation of chloroplasts. Blue light is effective for the accumulation of starch. But the red light and far-red light have a negative influence on chloroplast development.
The cytokinin (CTK), auxin (IAA), abscisic acid (ABA) content and various enzyme activities changed during leaf senescence. The content of phytohormones is easily affected by the light environment, and different light qualities have different regulatory effects on it, and the initial steps of the light signaling pathway involve cytokinins. CTK promotes leaf cell expansion and leaf photosynthesis, inhibits the activity of ribonuclease, deoxyribonuclease and protease, and delays the degradation of nucleic acids, proteins and chlorophyll, thus significantly delaying leaf senescence. There is an interaction between light and CTK, the light energy stimulates an increase in endogenous cytokinin levels. When the plant tissue is in senescence, its endogenous cytokinin content reduces. IAA is mainly concentrated in the growing parts, its content in aging tissues or organs is extremely low, and the low levels of IAA will restrict the elongation of plants. ABA is mostly created in senescent leaf, mature fruits, seeds, stems and roots. The ABA content of cucumber and cabbage under red-blue combined light is lower than that of white light and blue light.
POD, SOD, APX, and CAT are important and light-related protective enzymes in plants. If plants are senescent, the activity of these enzymes will decrease fast. The effects of different light qualities on the antioxidant enzyme activities were obviously. After 9 days of red light LED grow light treatment, APX activity of rapeseed seedlings increased noticeably and POD activity reduced. After 15 days of red and blue light irradiation, the POD activity of tomato was higher than white light by 20.9% and 11.7% respectively. After 20 days of green light illumination, the POD activity was the lowest, only 55.4% of white light. Supplementation of blue light could enhance the soluble protein content, POD, SOD, APX and CAT activities of cucumber seedling leaves. Therefore, the application of proper LED plant light can effectively delay the aging of facilities plants, improve yield and quality.
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