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Red varieties of lettuce germinate worse?

Red leaf lettuce phenolic compounds

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2 replies to this topic

#1 Dreamer_Irina



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Posted 08 December 2015 - 09:59 AM

Hello, Everyone!
I'm interested of such physiological manifestation as worse germination of red lettuce variety (for example, Lolo Rosso) compared to green variety (Lolo Bionda). Faced with this problem during the research of my graduate work, I noticed one-month plants of red lettuce variety wasn't consist with the morphometric parameters of the green variety. But both varieties had the same period of technical maturity according to information from producer of seed. Could the accumulation of phenolic compounds in the cells of red varieties be the cause of the lag in the development of red lettuce? 

#2 bob1


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Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:03 PM

Potentially. Also note that the red compounds are common amongst high altitude plants as a protective mechanism against too much high intensity UV, which would cause damage to the cells. These red compounds also filter some of the wavelengths needed for energy production via the photosystems, which means that red coloured plants tend to do less well than green plants exposed to the same amounts of light.

#3 hobglobin


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Posted 11 December 2015 - 09:27 AM

You wrote " same period of technical maturity", you mean it's the same lot? if not different lots can have quite different characteristics and quality.


Other factors are since they are different cultivars that these cultivars have different germination and growth rates, i.e. a genetic background with less obvious causes. Anyway some effect you surely can attribute to morphological or biochemical traits such as the mentioned also phenolic compounds or colours. And also the seed coat/integument might differ in thickness, or that one cultivar has less nutrient reservoirs or infests first more in root growth...Also differing optimal abiotic conditions (light, water, temperature) might have some effect here (which are all of course in the end genetics too).

Anyway just wanted to say that many factors on different levels can influence such observations, and you hypothesise that one is the most important, but then you need at least good indications that this can be the case e.g. in other studies.

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