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Lailiang Cheng, Leslie H. Fuchigami, and Patrick J. Breen

Bench-grafted Fuji/M26 apple (Malus domestica Borkh) trees were fertigated with different concentrations of nitrogen by using a modified Hoagland's solution for 45 days. CO2 assimilation and actual photosystem II (PSII) efficiency in response to incident photon flux density (PFD) were measured simultaneously in recent fully expanded leaves under low O2 (2%) and saturated CO2 (1300 ppm) conditions. A single curvilinear relationship was found between true quantum yield for CO2 assimilation and actual PSII efficiency for leaves with a wide range of leaf N content. The relationship was linear up to a quantum yield of approximately 0.05 mol CO2/mol quanta, then became curvilinear with a further rise in quantum yield in response to decreasing PFD. This relationship was subsequently used as a calibration curve to assess the rate of linear electron transport associated with rubisco and partitioning of electron flow between CO2 assimilation and photorespiration in different N leaves in response to intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) under normal O2 conditions. Both the rate of linear electron flow, and the rate to CO2 or O2 increased with increasing leaf N at any given Ci, but the percentage of linear electron flow to CO2 assimilation remained the same regardless of leaf N content. As Ci increased, the percentage of linear electron flow to CO2 assimilation increased. In conclusion, the relationship between actual PSII efficiency and quantum yield for CO2 assimilation and the partitioning of electron flow between CO2 assimilation and photorespiration are not affected by N content in apple leaves.

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Vijaya Shukla, Yingmei Ma, and Emily Merewitz

, 1981 ). Membrane health attributes were estimated by measuring the following parameters. Leaf photochemical efficiency (F v /F m ) and quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in PSII (YII) were determined with a fluorometer system (OSp5; Opti

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Thomas E. Marler, Michael V. Mickelbart, and Roland Quitugua

Leaves of container-grown papaya (Carica papaya L.) plants were inoculated with papaya ringspot virus (PRV) to determine its influence on dark respiration and photosynthesis. Photosynthetic capacity, apparent quantum yield, ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence from dark-adapted leaves, and photosynthetic CO2-use efficiency were reduced by PRV infection. Internal CO2 partial pressure at ambient external CO2 was not affected, but leaf dark respiration was increased by PRV infection. These results suggest that reduced growth, yield, and fruit quality common in PRV-infected papaya plants is caused, at least partially, by reduced photosynthesis and increased respiration.

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Amanda M. Miller, Marc W. van Iersel, and Allan M. Armitage

Light and temperature responses of whole-plant CO2 exchange were determined for two cultivars of Angelonia angustifolia Benth., `AngelMist Purple Stripe' and `AngelMist Deep Plum'. Whole crop net photosynthesis (Pnet) of `AngelMist Purple Stripe' and `AngelMist Deep Plum' were measured at eight temperatures, ranging from 17 to 42 °C. Pnet for both cultivars increased from 17 to ≈20 °C, and then decreased as temperature increased further. Optimal temperatures for Pnet of `AngelMist Purple Stripe' and `AngelMist Deep Plum' were 20.8 and 19.8 °C, respectively. There was no significant difference between the two cultivars, irrespective of temperature. The Q10 (the relative increase with a 10 °C increase in temperature) for Pnet of both cultivars decreased over the entire temperature range. Dark respiration (Rdark) of both cultivars showed a similar linear increase as temperature increased. As photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) increased from 0 to 600 μmol·m-2·s-1, Pnet of both cultivars increased. Light saturation was not yet reached at 600 μmol·m-2·s-1. The light compensation point occurred at 69 μmol·m-2·s-1 for `AngelMist Purple Stripe' and at 89 μmol·m-2·s-1 for `AngelMist Deep Plum'. The lower light saturation point of `AngelMist Purple Stripe' was the result of a higher quantum yield (0.037 mol·mol-1 for `AngelMist Purple Stripe' and 0.026 mol·mol-1 for `AngelMist Deep Plum'). The difference in quantum yield between the two cultivars may explain the faster growth habit of `AngelMist Purple Stripe'.

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Krishna S. Nemali and Marc W. van Iersel

Physiological acclimation of plants to light has been studied mostly at the leaf level; however whole-plant responses are more relevant in relation to crop growth. To examine the physiological changes associated with different daily light integrals (DLI) during growth of wax begonia (Begonia semperflorens-cultorum Hort.), we grew plants under DLI of 5.3, 9.5, 14.4, and 19.4 mol·m-2·d-1 in a whole-plant gas exchange system. Photosynthesis-light response curves of groups of 12 plants were determined after 25 d of growth. Physiological parameters were estimated per m2 ground area and per m2 leaf area. On a ground area basis, significant increases in dark respiration (Rd), quantum yield (α), the light compensation point (LCP), and maximum gross photosynthesis (Pg,max) were seen with increasing DLI. Variations in physiological parameters among different treatments were small when corrected for differences in leaf area. On a leaf area basis, α, LCP, and the light saturation point (LSP) did not change significantly, whereas significant increases in Rd and Pg,max were seen with increasing DLI. There was a small decrease in leaf chlorophyll concentration (6.3%, measured in SPAD units) with increasing DLI. This study indicates that wax begonias acclimate to low DLI by increasing their leaf chlorophyll concentration, presumably to more efficiently capture the available light, and to high DLI by increasing Pg,max to efficiently utilize the available light, thereby maximizing carbon gain under both situations.

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Jonathan M. Frantz, Glen Ritchie, Nilton N. Cometti, Justin Robinson, and Bruce Bugbee

The productivity of lettuce in a combination of high light, high temperature, and elevated CO2 has not been commonly studied because rapid growth usually causes a calcium deficiency in meristems called tipburn, which greatly reduces quality and marketability. We eliminated tipburn by blowing air directly onto the meristem, which allowed us to increase the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) to 1000 μmol·m-2·s-1 (57.6 mol·m-2·d-1); two to three times higher than normally used for lettuce. Eliminating tipburn doubled edible yield at the highest PPF level. In addition to high PPF, CO2 was elevated to 1200 μmol·m-2·mol-1, which increased the temperature optimum from 25 to 30 °C. The higher temperature increased leaf expansion rate, which improved radiation capture and more than doubled yield. Photosynthetic efficiency, measured as canopy quantum yield in a whole-plant gas exchange system, steadily increased up to the highest temperature of 32 °C in high CO2. The highest productivity was 19 g·m-2·d-1 of dry biomass (380 g·d-1 fresh mass) averaged over the 23 days the plants received light. Without the limitation of tipburn, the combination of high PPF, high temperature, and elevated CO2 resulted in a 4-fold increase in growth rate over productivity in conventional environments.

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S. Kumudini

Cranberry [Vaccinium macrocarpon (Ait.)] yield has been associated with photosynthate supply. However, the impact of temperature and radiation on photosynthesis of the cranberry plant is not well understood. The objective of this experiment was to characterize the photosynthetic response to radiation and temperature in order to develop a model for estimation of cranberry photosynthetic rates. Two cranberry cultivars, `Stevens' and `Ben Lear', were tested for photosynthetic response at air temperatures ranging from 15 to 35 °C and radiation intensities from 200 to 1200 μmol·m-2·s-1. Depending on temperature, maximum photosynthesis (Pmax) was ≈10 or 12 μmol CO2/m2/s (net photosynthesis) and the saturating radiation level was estimated to be 600 to 800 μmol·m-2·s-1. Cranberry quantum yield was estimated as 0.03 mol CO2/mol photon. Both models; Blackman and the nonrectangular hyperbola with a Θ (angle of curvature) of 0.99 were a good fit for measured photosynthetic rates under controlled environment conditions. The disparity between modeled predicted values, and observed values in the field around midday, indicates a reduction in potential photosynthetic rates in a diurnal cycle that is consistent with the phenomenon of midday depression.

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Jun Song, Weimin Deng, Randolph M. Beaudry, and Paul R. Armstrong

Trends in chlorophyll fluorescence for `Starking Delicious', `Golden Delicious' and `Law Rome' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) fruit were examined during the harvest season, during refrigerated-air (RA) storage at 0 °C, following RA and controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage, and during a poststorage holding period at 22 °C. Fluorescence parameters of minimal fluorescence (Fo), maximal fluorescence (Fm), and quantum yield [(Fm-Fo)/Fm, otherwise denoted as Fv/Fm] were measured. During `Starking Delicious' fruit maturation and ripening, Fv/Fm declined with time, with the rate of decline increasing after the ethylene climacteric. During RA storage, all fluorescence parameters remained constant for approximately 2 weeks, then steadily declined with time for `Starking Delicious' fruit. Superficial scald was detected after Fv/Fm had declined from an initial value of 0.78 to ≈0.7. Fv/Fm was consistently higher for CA-stored fruits than for RA-stored fruits. We were able to resegregate combined populations of “high-quality” (CA) and “low-quality” (RA) `Law Rome' fruit with 75% accuracy using a threshold Fv/Fm value of 0.685, with only 5% RA-stored fruit incorrectly identified as being of high quality. During a poststorage holding period, Fo, Fm, and Fv/Fm correlated well with firmness for `Starking Delicious', but not for `Golden Delicious' fruit, which were already soft. Fo and Fm were linearly correlated with hue angle for 'Golden Delicious' fruit, decreasing as yellowness increased. The accuracy, speed of assessment, and light-based nature of fluorescence suggests that it may have some practical use as a criterion to assist in sorting apple or other chlorophyll-containing fruit or vegetables on commercial packing lines.

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Jonathan M. Frantz and Bruce Bugbee

Cloudy days cause an abrupt reduction in daily photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), but we have a poor understanding of how plants acclimate to this change. We used a unique 10-chamber, steady-state, gas-exchange system to continuously measure daily photosynthesis and night respiration of populations of a starch accumulator [tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Micro-Tina)] and a sucrose accumulator [lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Grand Rapids)] over 42 days. All measurements were done at elevated CO2 (1200 μmol·mol-1) to avoid any CO2 limitations and included both shoots and roots. We integrated photosynthesis and respiration measurements separately to determine daily net carbon gain and carbon use efficiency (CUE) as the ratio of daily net C gain to total day-time C fixed over the 42-day period. After 16 to 20 days of growth in constant PPF, plants in some chambers were subjected to an abrupt PPF reduction to simulate shade or a series of cloudy days. The immediate effect and the long term acclimation rate were assessed from canopy quantum yield and carbon use efficiency. The effect of shade on carbon use efficiency and acclimation was much slower than predicted by widely used growth models. It took 12 days for tomato populations to recover their original CUE and lettuce CUE never completely acclimated. Tomatoes, the starch accumulator, acclimated to low light more rapidly than lettuce, the sucrose accumulator. Plant growth models should be modified to include the photosynthesis/respiration imbalance and resulting inefficiency of carbon gain associated with changing PPF conditions on cloudy days.