Temperature-Dependent Quantum Yield of Chlorophyll Fluorescence

Temperature-Dependent Quantum Yield of Chlorophyll Fluorescence in Plant Leaves

Chlorophyll fluorescence of plants has long been used to understand their photochemistry and as an indicator of their photosynthetic efficiency. The fluorescence originates from Photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII, respectively) which are protein complexes located inside chloroplasts whose function is to drive the photosynthesis chain. They contain pigments that, upon excitation by light, initiate a chain of redox reactions that leads to the production of chemical energy. The intensity and spectral characteristics of  chlorophyll fluorescence offers information on the energy transfer processes occurring under illumination. It can be used to study the influence of environmental factors such as temperature and light on the plant’s photochemistry.

In this application note we present temperature-dependent fluorescence quantum yield of perennial leaves from 77 K to 300 K. The quantum yield was measured using an FLS1000 Photoluminescence Spectrometer equipped with the Cryosphere accessory which is a variable temperature integrating sphere. The Edinburgh Instruments Cryosphere allows accurate characterisation of the changes in quantum yield with temperature, accounting for any changes in absorption that depend on temperature.

Schematic of photosystem I and III: the origin of chlorophyll fluorescence

Figure 1: Simplified schematic of the photosynthesis process (Z scheme). P680 and P700 are the chlorophyll centres in photosystems I and II, respectively.

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