Insights on the development, kinetics, and variation of photoinhibition using chlorophyll fluorescence imaging af a chilled, variegated leaf

S.W. Hogewoning, J. Harbinson

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45 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of chilling on photosystem II (PSII) efficiency was studied in the variegated leaves of Calathea makoyana, in order to gain insight into the causes of chilling-induced photoinhibition. Additionally, a relationship was revealed between (chilling) stress and variation in photosynthesis. Chilling treatments (5 degrees C and 10 degrees C) were performed for different durations (1-7 d) under a moderate irradiance (120 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)). The individual leaves were divided into a shaded zone and two illuminated, chilled zones. The leaf tip and sometimes the leaf base were not chilled. Measurements of the dark-adapted F-v/F-m were made on the different leaf zones at the end of the chilling treatment, and then for several days thereafter to monitor recovery. Chilling up to 7 d in the dark did not affect PSII efficiency and visual appearance, whereas chilling in the light caused severe photoinhibition, sometimes followed by leaf necrosis. Photoinhibition increased with the duration of the chilling period, whereas, remarkably, chilling temperature had no effect. In the unchilled leaf tip, photoinhibition also occurred, whereas in the unchilled leaf base it did not. Whatever the leaf zone, photoinhibition became permanent if the mean value dropped below 0.4, although chlorosis and necrosis were associated solely with chilled illuminated tissue. Starch accumulated in the unchilled leaf tip, in contrast to the adjacent chilled irradiated zone. This suggests that photoinhibition was due to a secondary effect in the unchilled leaf tip (sink limitation), whereas it was a direct effect of chilling and irradiance in the chilled illuminated zones. The PSII efficiency and its coefficient of variation showed a unique negative linearity across all leaf zones and different tissue types. The slope of this curve was steeper for chilled leaves than it was for healthy, non-stressed leaves, suggesting that the coefficient of variation may be an important tool for assessing stress in leaves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-463
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • acclimated spinach leaves
  • mangifera-indica l.
  • cucumis-sativus
  • low-temperature
  • zea-mays
  • photosynthesis
  • plants
  • susceptibility
  • inhibition
  • transport


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