Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New paper finds increased CO2 improves both the productivity and nutritional quality of spinach

A new paper published in Advances in Space Research finds increased levels of CO2 promote spinach productivity and accumulation of vitamin C in spinach leaves. According to the authors, "High light and high CO2 independently one from the other, promoted spinach productivity, and the accumulation of ascorbic acid [vitamin C], while their interactive effect limited the accumulation of nitrate and oxalic acid in the spinach leaves." Decreased oxalic acid is beneficial for human nutrition because oxalic acid blocks absorption of essential minerals

Influence of the interaction between light intensity and CO2 concentration on productivity and quality of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) grown in fully controlled environment


Author(s): Simona Proietti , Stefano Moscatello , Gene A. Giacomelli , Alberto Battistelli

Abstract: The effects of the factorial combination of two light intensities (200 and 800 ╬╝mol m-2 s-1) and two CO2 concentrations (360 and 800 ppm) were studied on the productivity and nutritional quality of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) grown under controlled environment. After 6 weeks within a growth chamber, spinach plants were sampled and analyzed for productivity and quality. There were no statistically significant interactions between the effects of light and CO2 for all of the variables studied, except for the nitrate and oxalic acid content of the leaves. High light and high CO2 independently one from the other, promoted spinach productivity, and the accumulation of ascorbic acid [vitamin C], while their interactive effect limited the accumulation of nitrate and oxalic acid in the spinach leaves. The results highlight the importance of considering the effects of the interaction among environmental variables on maximizing production and the nutritional quality of the food when cultivating and modeling the plant response in controlled environment systems such as for bioregenerative life support.

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