Miami University Using LumiGrow LEDs to Study Agricultural Development Genetics

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OXFORD, Ohio, March 1, 2019 — Assistant Professor Rob Baker at the Miami University Department of Biology is using LumiGrow LEDs to produce multiple sub-species of Brassica rapa seeds after dismal seed production affected his developmental genetics research.

The Brassica genus includes important agricultural crops including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, spinach, and mustard. Short days during the fall and winter could not provide enough light for Brassica seed production. Miami University installed LumiGrow fixtures with the LumiGrow smartPAR Wireless Control System in the school’s Belk Greenhouse, and Baker began using them to extend the photoperiod to 16 hours. The lights are on from 5:00 a.m. until sunrise, and then again from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Baker collects data on a number of metrics including germination rate, flowering time, and chlorophyll content.

“Brassica is agriculturally important,” Baker said. “The canola [field mustard] industry alone brings in several hundred million dollars annually. Studying how environmental factors influence the plant at each stage of development has real implications for how people plant, grow and manage these crops.”

Published: March 2019
Brassica rapaRob BakerpeopleAmericasResearch & Technology

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