Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis

Berkley J. Walker, Darren T. Drewry, Rebecca A. Slattery, Andy VanLoocke, Young B. Cho, Donald R. Ort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The hypothesis that reducing chlorophyll content (Chl) can increase canopy photosynthesis in soybeans was tested using an advanced model of canopy photosynthesis. The relationship among leaf Chl, leaf optical properties, and photosynthetic biochemical capacity was measured in 67 soybean (Glycine max) accessions showing large variation in leaf Chl. These relationships were integrated into a biophysical model of canopy-scale photosynthesis to simulate the intercanopy light environment and carbon assimilation capacity of canopies with wild type, a Chl-deficient mutant (Y11y11), and 67 other mutants spanning the extremes of Chl to quantify the impact of variation in leaf-level Chl on canopy-scale photosynthetic assimilation and identify possible opportunities for improving canopy photosynthesis through Chl reduction. These simulations demonstrate that canopy photosynthesis should not increase with Chl reduction due to increases in leaf reflectance and nonoptimal distribution of canopy nitrogen. However, similar rates of canopy photosynthesis can be maintained with a 9% savings in leaf nitrogen resulting from decreased Chl. Additionally, analysis of these simulations indicate that the inability of Chl reductions to increase photosynthesis arises primarily from the connection between Chl and leaf reflectance and secondarily from the mismatch between the vertical distribution of leaf nitrogen and the light absorption profile. These simulations suggest that future work should explore the possibility of using reduced Chl to improve canopy performance by adapting the distribution of the “saved” nitrogen within the canopy to take greater advantage of the more deeply penetrating light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1232
Number of pages18
JournalPlant physiology
Volume176
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Fingerprint

Photosynthesis
Chlorophyll
photosynthesis
canopy
chlorophyll
leaves
Nitrogen
Soybeans
nitrogen
reflectance
soybeans
Light
mutants
optical properties
Glycine max
assimilation (physiology)
Carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Walker, B. J., Drewry, D. T., Slattery, R. A., VanLoocke, A., Cho, Y. B., & Ort, D. R. (2018). Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis. Plant physiology, 176(2), 1215-1232. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.17.01401

Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis. / Walker, Berkley J.; Drewry, Darren T.; Slattery, Rebecca A.; VanLoocke, Andy; Cho, Young B.; Ort, Donald R.

In: Plant physiology, Vol. 176, No. 2, 02.2018, p. 1215-1232.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Walker, BJ, Drewry, DT, Slattery, RA, VanLoocke, A, Cho, YB & Ort, DR 2018, 'Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis', Plant physiology, vol. 176, no. 2, pp. 1215-1232. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.17.01401
Walker, Berkley J. ; Drewry, Darren T. ; Slattery, Rebecca A. ; VanLoocke, Andy ; Cho, Young B. ; Ort, Donald R. / Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis. In: Plant physiology. 2018 ; Vol. 176, No. 2. pp. 1215-1232.
@article{6fb5acd9d8d84852bb3eacc391621173,
title = "Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis",
abstract = "The hypothesis that reducing chlorophyll content (Chl) can increase canopy photosynthesis in soybeans was tested using an advanced model of canopy photosynthesis. The relationship among leaf Chl, leaf optical properties, and photosynthetic biochemical capacity was measured in 67 soybean (Glycine max) accessions showing large variation in leaf Chl. These relationships were integrated into a biophysical model of canopy-scale photosynthesis to simulate the intercanopy light environment and carbon assimilation capacity of canopies with wild type, a Chl-deficient mutant (Y11y11), and 67 other mutants spanning the extremes of Chl to quantify the impact of variation in leaf-level Chl on canopy-scale photosynthetic assimilation and identify possible opportunities for improving canopy photosynthesis through Chl reduction. These simulations demonstrate that canopy photosynthesis should not increase with Chl reduction due to increases in leaf reflectance and nonoptimal distribution of canopy nitrogen. However, similar rates of canopy photosynthesis can be maintained with a 9{\%} savings in leaf nitrogen resulting from decreased Chl. Additionally, analysis of these simulations indicate that the inability of Chl reductions to increase photosynthesis arises primarily from the connection between Chl and leaf reflectance and secondarily from the mismatch between the vertical distribution of leaf nitrogen and the light absorption profile. These simulations suggest that future work should explore the possibility of using reduced Chl to improve canopy performance by adapting the distribution of the “saved” nitrogen within the canopy to take greater advantage of the more deeply penetrating light.",
author = "Walker, {Berkley J.} and Drewry, {Darren T.} and Slattery, {Rebecca A.} and Andy VanLoocke and Cho, {Young B.} and Ort, {Donald R.}",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1104/pp.17.01401",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "176",
pages = "1215--1232",
journal = "Plant Physiology",
issn = "0032-0889",
publisher = "American Society of Plant Biologists",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Chlorophyll can be reduced in crop canopies with little penalty to photosynthesis

AU - Walker, Berkley J.

AU - Drewry, Darren T.

AU - Slattery, Rebecca A.

AU - VanLoocke, Andy

AU - Cho, Young B.

AU - Ort, Donald R.

PY - 2018/2

Y1 - 2018/2

N2 - The hypothesis that reducing chlorophyll content (Chl) can increase canopy photosynthesis in soybeans was tested using an advanced model of canopy photosynthesis. The relationship among leaf Chl, leaf optical properties, and photosynthetic biochemical capacity was measured in 67 soybean (Glycine max) accessions showing large variation in leaf Chl. These relationships were integrated into a biophysical model of canopy-scale photosynthesis to simulate the intercanopy light environment and carbon assimilation capacity of canopies with wild type, a Chl-deficient mutant (Y11y11), and 67 other mutants spanning the extremes of Chl to quantify the impact of variation in leaf-level Chl on canopy-scale photosynthetic assimilation and identify possible opportunities for improving canopy photosynthesis through Chl reduction. These simulations demonstrate that canopy photosynthesis should not increase with Chl reduction due to increases in leaf reflectance and nonoptimal distribution of canopy nitrogen. However, similar rates of canopy photosynthesis can be maintained with a 9% savings in leaf nitrogen resulting from decreased Chl. Additionally, analysis of these simulations indicate that the inability of Chl reductions to increase photosynthesis arises primarily from the connection between Chl and leaf reflectance and secondarily from the mismatch between the vertical distribution of leaf nitrogen and the light absorption profile. These simulations suggest that future work should explore the possibility of using reduced Chl to improve canopy performance by adapting the distribution of the “saved” nitrogen within the canopy to take greater advantage of the more deeply penetrating light.

AB - The hypothesis that reducing chlorophyll content (Chl) can increase canopy photosynthesis in soybeans was tested using an advanced model of canopy photosynthesis. The relationship among leaf Chl, leaf optical properties, and photosynthetic biochemical capacity was measured in 67 soybean (Glycine max) accessions showing large variation in leaf Chl. These relationships were integrated into a biophysical model of canopy-scale photosynthesis to simulate the intercanopy light environment and carbon assimilation capacity of canopies with wild type, a Chl-deficient mutant (Y11y11), and 67 other mutants spanning the extremes of Chl to quantify the impact of variation in leaf-level Chl on canopy-scale photosynthetic assimilation and identify possible opportunities for improving canopy photosynthesis through Chl reduction. These simulations demonstrate that canopy photosynthesis should not increase with Chl reduction due to increases in leaf reflectance and nonoptimal distribution of canopy nitrogen. However, similar rates of canopy photosynthesis can be maintained with a 9% savings in leaf nitrogen resulting from decreased Chl. Additionally, analysis of these simulations indicate that the inability of Chl reductions to increase photosynthesis arises primarily from the connection between Chl and leaf reflectance and secondarily from the mismatch between the vertical distribution of leaf nitrogen and the light absorption profile. These simulations suggest that future work should explore the possibility of using reduced Chl to improve canopy performance by adapting the distribution of the “saved” nitrogen within the canopy to take greater advantage of the more deeply penetrating light.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041714618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85041714618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1104/pp.17.01401

DO - 10.1104/pp.17.01401

M3 - Article

C2 - 29061904

AN - SCOPUS:85041714618

VL - 176

SP - 1215

EP - 1232

JO - Plant Physiology

JF - Plant Physiology

SN - 0032-0889

IS - 2

ER -