The Influence of Light Wavelength on Growth and Antioxidant Capacity in Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urban

  • Ill Min Chung
  • Niroj Paudel
  • Seung-Hyun Kim
  • Chang Yeon Yu
  • Bimal Kumar GhimireEmail author


Pachyrhizus erosus is a plant that is traditionally used in Asia as a food and herbal medicine. This study examined the impact of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), light-emitting plasma (LEP), and fluorescent lamps (FLs) on the growth, antioxidant properties, and phenolic metabolites of P. erosus. Phenolic compound concentration and composition were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS) system. Radical scavenging activity was measured using stable radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) assays. P. erosus antioxidant activity and phenolic compound composition were improved by the application of LEDs and LEP. Blue LED light also produced significantly higher DPPH radical scavenging activity and ABTS values than the other LED and fluorescent light treatments. In P. erosus seedlings, dry weight, fresh weight, plant height, leaf area, and chlorophyll content were greater under blue LED than under FL light. Furthermore, growth under the blue LED enhanced the epidermal cell length, epidermal cell width, and number of stomata. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic and total flavonoid contents positively correlated in the P. erosus grown under blue LED light condition. Among LED treatments, blue LED produced higher total phenolic compounds, dominated by malonyl daidzin and l-phenylalanine. DPPH assay was highly and significantly correlated with vitexin, salicylic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, l-phenylalanine, daidzein, and daidzin. The present study demonstrated that changes in the growth pattern, antioxidant activity, composition, and metabolite concentration occurred in response to light of different wavelengths in P. erosus seedlings. Thus, LED exposure has the potential to enhance the growth characteristics, metabolite accumulation, and antioxidant properties of P. erosus.


Pachyrhizus erosus Light-emitting diodes Phenolic compound Antioxidant activity 



2,2-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)


Butylated hydroxy toluene




Electrospray ionization


Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry


Light-emitting diode


Light-emitting plasma


Multiple reaction monitoring


Reactive oxygen species



Authors express their gratitude to the Brian Pool for supporting this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

344_2019_9982_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (2.3 mb)
Fig. 1. Spectral distribution of light in growth chamber. (a) FL (b) LEP (c) white LED (d) green LED (e) red LED (f) blue LED. Fig. 2. Multiple reaction monitoring mode (MRM) ion chromatogram of the selected 56 phenolic compound standards. 1. 5-sulfosalicylic acid; 2. gallic acid; 3. l-phenylalanine; 4. homogentisic acid; 5. protocatechuic acid; 6. chlorogenic acid; 7. catechin; 8. daidzin; 9. glycitin; 10. orientin; 11. rutin; 12. p-hydroxybenzoic acid; 13. caffeic acid; 14. vitexin; 15. vanillic acid; 16. gentisic acid; 17. polydatin; 18. malonyldaidzin; 19. naringin; 20. genistin; 21. β-resorcylic acid; 22. acetyldaidzin; 23. p-coumaric acid; 24. ferulic acid; 25. m-coumaric acid; 26. veratric acid; 27. myricetin; 28. acetylgenistin; 29. daidzein; 30. glycitein; 31. luteolin; 32. quercetin; 33. salicylic acid; 34. apigenin; 35. naringenin; 36. genistein; 37. kaempferol; 38. hesperetin; 39. formononetin; 40. biochanin A. Fig. 3. Representative MRM ion chromatogram of phenolic compounds from blue LED light-treated P. erosus. Extract ion chromatograms of individual phenolic metabolites with small peaks are given in rectangular boxes with their retention time. Fig. 4. Representative MRM ion chromatogram of phenolic compounds from FL-treated P. erosus. Extract ion chromatograms of individual phenolic metabolites with small peaks are given in rectangular boxes with their retention times. (PPTX 2365 kb)
344_2019_9982_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 15 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ill Min Chung
    • 1
  • Niroj Paudel
    • 2
  • Seung-Hyun Kim
    • 1
  • Chang Yeon Yu
    • 2
  • Bimal Kumar Ghimire
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied Life ScienceKonkuk UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Bioherb Research InstituteKangwon National UniversityChuncheonKorea

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