Optical methods for investigation of leaf photosynthesis

J. M. Ducruet, M. Baron, E. H. Delucia, F. Morales, T. D. Sharkey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Optical methods: Light absorbed by chl. antenna is converted almost instantaneously into charge pairs in photochemical centres, which makes possible excitation by short flashes or modulated light thus generating various absorption, fluorescence or luminescence responses. The possibility of manipulating light excitation at will, together with the abundance of chromophores in the photosynthetic machinery, has favoured the development of optical monitoring of photosynthesis <italic>in vivo</italic>. The three complementary dimensions of optical methods, spectral, kinetic and imaging, provide unique tools to investigate the photosynthetic energy metabolism and, beyond, the bioenergetic status of the whole cell There is not a one-to-one correspondence between the measuring opportunities offered by various chromophores embedded in the thylakoid membranes and the aspects of the photosynthetic process they allow monitoring (Table 10.1). Starting from the mechanisms of light interactions with pigments, we will introduce the optical methods that have proved useful for studying leaf photosynthesis, using ‘intensive’ parameters (ratios such as Fv/Fm, kinetic amplitudes and time constants) that automatically compensate for variations of signal intensity between leaf samples. Other non-photosynthetic optical methods that can be used simultaneously (blue-green fluorescence (BGF), IR reflectance) will be briefly mentioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTerrestrial Photosynthesis in a Changing Environment a Molecular, Physiological and Ecological Approach
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781139051477
ISBN (Print)9780521899413
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical methods for investigation of leaf photosynthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this