AIR TEMPERATURE AND SUNLIGHT INTENSITY OF DIFFERENT GROWING PERIOD AFFECTS THE BIOMASS, LEAF COLOR AND BETACYANIN PIGMENT ACCUMULATIONS IN RED AMARANTH (AMARANTHUS TRICOLOR L.)
2009, 10 (4) p. 439-447
The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of daily air temperature and sunlight intensity variations on biomass production, leaf color and betacyanin accumulations in red amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor L.). For this purpose, two improved cultivars; BARI-1 and Altopati were grown in seven different period (from April to October, 2006) under vinyl house condition in the experimental facilities of Gifu University, Japan. The mean daily temperatures fluctuated from 18 (growing month- April) to 29ºC (August), while the mean sunlight intensities varied from 850 (October) to 1257 μmol m-2 S-1 (August). The highest biomass yield and betacyanin accumulation was obtained in the warmer growing period (July and August) at 28 to 29ºC mean air temperatures and 1240 to 1257 μmol m-2 S-1 sunlight intensity. At the warmer growing period red amaranth produced red leaves with high color index, which enhanced the betacyanin accumulations. The biomass yield and betacyanin accumulations were reduced significantly in the growing period/month April and October under low temperature regimes (mean air temperature 18 and 19ºC, respectively). However, growing period’s air temperature contributed more for biomass and betacyanin accumulations in red amaranth than sunlight intensity. Comparing two cultivars the biomass yield of BARI-1 was higher biomass yield than that of Altopati and Altopati highlighted with the higher betacyanin accumulations than that of BARI-1 in all growing period. Quantification of the effects of daily air temperature and sunlight intensity on biomass and betacyanin accumulation is important for growers producing these crops for fresh market and also optimize the best growing period. Therefore the influence of air temperatures and sunlight intensity should be considered while grown red amaranth for maximum yield with bioactive compounds like betacyanin and should be grown in between 28 to 29ºC air temperature and 1240 to 1257 μmol.m-2.S-1. of sunlight intensity.