Is there any study to find plants with absolute minimum light need?

Consider a bathroom without windows that you have occasional artificial light (e.g. white LED light).

Another question is there any numeric system assigning a number to each plant representing its minimum and maximum light tolerance?

  • $\begingroup$ That's not so difficult, if you look on the north side of densely forested mountains. ferns come to mind. $\endgroup$ – DeltaEnfieldWaid Apr 22 '20 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Some deep sea plants get very little light. $\endgroup$ – Polypipe Wrangler Apr 22 '20 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ Not all plants even do photosynthesis. Consider saprophytes, which live on dead plant or animal tissue. Or an even stranger example, the mycotrophic plants like the snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) that is a parasite on a fungus (which in turn seems to be a parasite of conifers): botany.org/Parasitic_Plants fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/mycotrophic/whatarethey.shtml/… $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Apr 24 '20 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf thanks for your note. can any of them be kept as an in-door plant? $\endgroup$ – PHPst Apr 24 '20 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ @PHPst: I don't know, though I doubt it, since they need the fungus that parasitizes/commensalizes with conifers. In the case of the snow plant (the one I'm most familiar with, since it's fairly common hereabouts), the flowering stalks only appear for a couple of months in the spring, right after the snow melts. The rest of the year there's nothing obvious above the surface. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Apr 25 '20 at 3:31

Let's at first take a set of SHORT DAY PLANTS which are distinguished from the other plants using the photoperiodism parameters. Taking one plant at a time and performing starch detection test by keeping the plant under sunlight may be the only possible way to determine which plant is the most efficient at producing maximum amount of food when kept under sunlight for a particular time. If we go deeper into the molecular level, maybe a cross section of the chloroplasts could provide us with the data of number of Photosystem 2 that are present which get activated at 680nm of light and also the number of electron carries like Ubiquinone. Their abundance can determine the quickness of carrying out photosynthesis. There are even a separate variety of C4 plants that undergo Crassulacean Acid Metabolism also known as CAM plants found in deserts that undergo photosynthesis at night.

Thus such an experiment would require diverse plants with several parameters to keep in mind and is quite difficult.

  • $\begingroup$ Also there is no numeric parameter to determine light tolerance but depending on the environment, botanists have averaged the amount of chloroplasts in plant leaves and thus have set a barrier for an optimum amount of light that a plant requires. When plotted graphically it shows an asymptotic graph with a peak point showing the optimum level. Also, over irradiation of leaves to light can cause bleaching of chloroplasts and damage to leaves. $\endgroup$ – Srutanik Bhaduri Apr 26 '20 at 15:02

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