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Towards a tailored indoor horticulture: a functional genomics guided phenotypic approach

As indoor horticulture gathers momentum, electric (also termed artificial) lighting systems with the ability to generate specific and tunable wavelengths have been developed and applied. While the effects of light quality on plant growth and development have been studied, authoritative and reliable sets of light formulae tailored for the cultivation of economically important plants and plant traits are lacking as light qualities employed across laboratories are inconsistent. This is due, at least in part, to the lack of molecular data for plants examined under electric lights in indoor environments. It has hampered progress in the field of indoor horticulture, in particular, the transition from small-scale indoor farming to commercial plant factories. Here, we review the effects of light quality on model and crop plants studied from a physiological, physical and biochemical perspective, and explain how functional genomics can be employed in tandem to generate a wealth of molecular data specific for plants cultivated under indoor lighting. This article reviews the current state of lighting technologies in indoor horticulture specifically discussing how recent narrow-bandwidth lighting technologies can be tailored to cultivate economically valuable plant species and
traits. Knowledge gained from a complementary phenotypic and functional genomics approach can be harvested not only for economical gains but also for sustainable food production.