Influence of lighting and stress on strawberry vitamin C content

Published on
February 12, 2016

In the last phase of the IDC (Information and Demonstration Centre) Flavour, funded by EFRO, the effect of lighting on the synthesis of vitamin C in strawberry is further investigated.

Results of the previous cultivation (with Elsanta and Sonata) pointed out that LED lighting towards the fruits causes a higher increase of vitamin C compared to LED lighting towards the leafs. There are several pathways in which vitamin C can be synthesized, but which factors are involved in triggering these pathways is not yet fully understood. It is known that stress can increase vitamin C levels in strawberry and besides that vitamin C might also be formed out of products resulting from cell wall degradation. Perhaps the fruit lighting caused an accelerated development of the fruits, leading to faster cell wall degradation. The current experiment (with Elsanta) aims to get more clarity on the different vitamin C synthesis pathways. Stress treatments are combined with lighting treatments, and vitamin C levels as well as gene expression will be measured to identify the activated pathways. The fundamental knowledge that will be acquired can be used in the future to enhance vitamin C levels effectively during cultivation.