The NASA Task Book
Advanced Search     

Project Title:  Temporal Lighting Optimization to Improve Lettuce Productivity and Nutritional Quality Under Superelevated CO2 Stress Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2023 
Division: Space Biology 
Research Discipline/Element:
Space Biology: Plant Biology  
Start Date: 09/01/2023  
End Date: 08/31/2024  
Task Last Updated: 10/03/2023 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Meng, Qingwu  Ph.D. / University Of Delaware 
Address:  160 Townsend Hall 
Newark , DE 19716 
Phone: 517-862-7541  
Congressional District:
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University Of Delaware 
Joint Agency:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC23K1427 
Responsible Center: NASA KSC 
Grant Monitor: Freeland, Denise  
Center Contact: 321-867-5878 
Unique ID: 15686 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2021 Space Biology NNH21ZDA001N-SBPS E.9: Plant Studies 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC23K1427 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Space Biology Element: (1) Plant Biology
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 08/31/2024 per D. Freeland/KSC. Original end date per NSSC information was 12/31/2023 (Ed., 10/5/23).

Task Description: Growing fresh food in space provides nutritional and psychological benefits to crewmembers in long-term missions. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) convert electricity to photons to regulate plant photosynthesis and secondary metabolism. To minimize the energy demand and maximize desirable crop attributes, we need to better understand how crops respond to varying light spectra and intensities. Previous research and current protocols use fixed light settings throughout the crop cycle. However, new data suggest that crop responses to light stimuli depend on the crop age. Here, we propose a new temporal lighting strategy to increase light use efficiency and nutritional quality of red-leaf lettuce by identifying optimal light spectra and intensities for each growth phase under superelevated CO2 stress. We will grow red-leaf lettuce hydroponically under LEDs with varying blue light, red light, far-red light, and total light intensities over time in plant growth chambers at superelevated CO2 conditions observed on the International Space Station. At harvest, we will collect and analyze data on whole-plant photosynthesis and phytonutrient accumulation. These data will reveal lettuce responses to combined effects of varying light and increased CO2 stress. This one-year Early Career Investigation will guide future full-scale investigations to optimize crop-specific light and environmental control strategies for a desirable balance between crop yield and nutritional quality in space life support systems.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2023 
Task Progress: New project for FY2023

Bibliography: Description: (Last Updated: ) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography
 None in FY 2023