Effect of Post-harvest LED lighting on colour development in tomato.

MSc-thesis abstract (submitted 29 March 2016):
The aim of this study was to increase the understanding of chlorophyll breakdown and lycopene synthesis in Solanum lycopersicum fruit under cold
storage and in combination with LED lighting.

To accomplish this, tomatoes were placed under a combination of temperature and continuous light treatments consisting of blue, red and a combination of red/far-red LEDs.
Non-destructive colour measurements were used to assess chlorophyll and lycopene levels non-destructively in S. lycopersicon cv. Roterno. Tomatoes were stored at constant temperatures 5 and 20 oC, or at a stepwise changing temperature between 5 and 20◦C.
Tomatoes were also sampled for destructive measurements to investigate gene expression of carotenoid genes.

Results from this research clearly indicate that colour formation is affected by both light quality and temperature. With blue light displaying faster ripening through increased ethylene synthesis while far-red light is shown to have a protective function for dealing with injury caused by continuous lighting.