New fluorescence parameters for monitoring photosynthesis in plants

L. Force, Ch. Critchley, J.J.S. van Rensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

263 Citations (Scopus)


Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements have a wide range of applications from basic understanding of photosynthesis functioning to plant environmental stress responses and direct assessments of plant health. The measured signal is the fluorescence intensity (expressed in relative units) and the most meaningful data are derived from the time dependent increase in fluorescence intensity achieved upon application of continuous bright light to a previously dark adapted sample. The fluorescence response changes over time and is termed the Kautsky curve or chlorophyll fluorescence transient. Recently, Strasser and Strasser (1995) formulated a group of fluorescence parameters, called the JIP-test, that quantify the stepwise flow of energy through Photosystem II, using input data from the fluorescence transient. The purpose of this study was to establish relationships between the biochemical reactions occurring in PS II and specific JIP-test parameters. This was approached using isolated systems that facilitated the addition of modifying agents, a PS II electron transport inhibitor, an electron acceptor and an uncoupler, whose effects on PS II activity are well documented in the literature. The alteration to PS II activity caused by each of these compounds could then be monitored through the JIP-test parameters and compared and contrasted with the literature. The known alteration in PS II activity of Chenopodium album atrazine resistant and sensitive biotypes was also used to gauge the effectiveness and sensitivity of the JIP-test. The information gained from the in vitro study was successfully applied to an in situ study. This is the first in a series of four papers. It shows that the trapping parameters of the JIP-test were most affected by illumination and that the reduction in trapping had a run-on effect to inhibit electron transport. When irradiance exposure proceeded to photoinhibition, the electron transport probability parameter was greatly reduced and dissipation significantly increased. These results illustrate the advantage of monitoring a number of fluorescence parameters over the use of just one, which is often the case when the F-V/F-M ratio is used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-33
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • restricted energy-transfer
  • radical-pair equilibrium
  • ii reaction centers
  • photosystem-ii
  • chlorophyll-a
  • electron-transport
  • protein-phosphorylation
  • light stress
  • chloroplasts
  • induction


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