Curits Mathes Grow Lights, Inc. is now starting a collaboration with scientists from the University of Texas at Arlington. A subsidiary of Light Engine Design Corps (TLED) the company is working with the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CLEAR). They’ve enlisted the help of Dr. Kevin Schug for the project.
The research will look at the effects of phytochrome manipulation on the production of phytomolecules in hemp. A phytochrome is a pigment in plants that detects red light. It is a set of proteins that let the plant sense when light is present and is important in helping the plant grow. By changing which wavelengths are given to the plants at which intervals, scientists are hoping to see if they can control which phytomolecules that hemp will produce.
When researchers talk about phytomolecules, they are talking about the terpenes, flavonoids, and other chemicals found in hemp. With many of these compounds being studied for their possible health benefits, there is a keen interest in being able to change how much of them each plant produces over its life cycle.
“While we hypothesize that spectral switching and the toggling of supplemental red light will have profound effects on plant growth and phytochemical expression, there is not much available data in the hemp sector that explores this. As such, we are extremely fortunate to collaborate with Dr. Schug whose team will help us characterize the Emerson Effect with extremely high-resolution chemical analyses,” Robert Manes, COO of TLED, said in a press release.
The team hopes to be able to control the photoreceptors in the hemp plants to see what optimal lighting looks like for hemp and which lighting schemes might be problematic.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of this research with an industrial partner, which produces some unique lighting technologies. Through comprehensive chemical analysis of plant constituents, we will be able to clearly understand the beneficial and deleterious effects of different lighting schemes on hemp growth,” said Dr. Kevin Schug.