A small dynamic leaf-level model predicting photosynthesis in greenhouse tomatoes

Dominique Joubert*, Ningyi Zhang, Sarah R. Berman, Elias Kaiser, Jaap Molenaar, J.D. Stigter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The conversion of supplemental greenhouse light energy into biomass is not always optimal. Recent trends in global energy prices and discussions on climate change highlight the need to reduce our energy footprint associated with the use of supplemental light in greenhouse crop production. This can be achieved by implementing “smart” lighting regimens which in turn rely on a good understanding of how fluctuating light influences photosynthetic physiology. Here, a simple fit-for-purpose dynamic model is presented. It accurately predicts net leaf photosynthesis under natural fluctuating light. It comprises two ordinary differential equations predicting: 1) the total stomatal conductance to CO2 diffusion and 2) the CO2 concentration inside a leaf. It contains elements of the Farquhar-von Caemmerer-Berry model and the successful incorporation of this model suggests that for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), it is sufficient to assume that Rubisco remains activated despite rapid fluctuations in irradiance. Furthermore, predictions of the net photosynthetic rate under both 400ppm and enriched 800ppm ambient CO2 concentrations indicate a strong correlation between the dynamic rate of photosynthesis and the rate of electron transport. Finally, we are able to indicate whether dynamic photosynthesis is Rubisco or electron transport rate limited.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275047
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'A small dynamic leaf-level model predicting photosynthesis in greenhouse tomatoes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this