Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements are providing insights into Photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency and hence are able to provide a good estimation of carbon assimilation under field conditions. A F2 generation of sibcross seedlings from a cross of `Goldspur' × `Redspur' were selected to identify genetic variations and the relationships among fluorescence parameters, carbon assimilation, and carbon partitioning in apple leaves. Mature leaves from extension shoots were analyzed for chlorophyll fluorescence with a CF-1000 chlorophyll fluorescence measurement system, photosynthetic rate with a LI-6200 portable photosynthesis system, and carbohydrates with a Shimadzu HPLC. Significant variations in leaf chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and photosynthetic rates were found. The ratio of Fv: Fm, an estimation of photochemical efficiency of PSII, decreased from ≈0.90 in June to ≈0.75 in September while the photosynthetic rates decreased from ≈8.5 in June to ≈4.5 μmol·m–2·s–l in September. The relationships between fluorescence parameters, photosynthesis, and carbohydrate partitioning were analyzed and the ratio of sorbitol to sucrose in relation to the efficiency of PSII and NADPH production will be discussed.
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