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Proceedings Paper

Visualizing photosynthesis through processing of chlorophyll fluorescence images
Author(s): Paul F. Daley; J. Timothy Ball; Joseph A. Berry; Juergen Patzke; Klaus E. Raschke
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Paper Abstract

Measurements of terrestrial plant photosynthesis frequently exploit sensing of gas exchange from leaves enclosed in gas-tight, climate controlled chambers. These methods are typically slow, and do not resolve variation in photosynthesis below the whole leaf level. A photosynthesis visualization technique is presented that uses images of leaves employing light from chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence. Images of Chl fluorescence from whole leaves undergoing steady-state photosynthesis, photosynthesis induction, or response to stress agents were digitized during light flashes that saturated photochemical reactions. Use of saturating flashes permitted deconvolution of photochemical energy use from biochemical quenching mechanisms (qN) that dissipate excess excitation energy, otherwise damaging to the light harvesting apparatus. Combination of the digital image frames of variable fluorescence with reference frames obtained from the same leaves when dark-adapted permitted derivation of frames in which grey scale represented the magnitude of qN. Simultaneous measurements with gas-exchange apparatus provided data for non-linear calibration filters for subsequent rendering of grey-scale "images" of photosynthesis. In several experiments significant non-homogeneity of photosynthetic activity was observed following treatment with growth hormones, or shifts in light or humidity, and following infection by virus. The technique provides a rapid, non-invasive probe for stress physiology and plant disease detection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1990
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1245, Biomedical Image Processing, (1 May 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.19560
Show Author Affiliations
Paul F. Daley, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
J. Timothy Ball, Desert Research Institute (United States)
Joseph A. Berry, Carnegie Institution (United States)
Juergen Patzke, Univ. Goettingen (Germany)
Klaus E. Raschke, Univ. Goettingen (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1245:
Biomedical Image Processing
Alan Conrad Bovik; William E. Higgins, Editor(s)

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