Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 223–234

E-photosynthesis: a comprehensive modeling approach to understand chlorophyll fluorescence transients and other complex dynamic features of photosynthesis in fluctuating light


    • Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology ASCR
    • Institute of Physical Biology, University of South Bohemia
  • Jan Červený
    • Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology ASCR
    • Institute of Physical Biology, University of South Bohemia
    • Centre of Applied CyberneticsCzech Technical University
  • Uwe Rascher
    • Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere ICG-III: Phytosphere
  • Henning Schmidt
    • Fraunhofer-Chalmers Research Centre
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11120-007-9178-9

Cite this article as:
Nedbal, L., Červený, J., Rascher, U. et al. Photosynth Res (2007) 93: 223. doi:10.1007/s11120-007-9178-9


Plants are exposed to a temporally and spatially heterogeneous environment, and photosynthesis is well adapted to these fluctuations. Understanding of the complex, non-linear dynamics of photosynthesis in fluctuating light requires novel-modeling approaches that involve not only the primary light and dark biochemical reactions, but also networks of regulatory interactions. This requirement exceeds the capacity of the existing molecular models that are typically reduced to describe a partial process, dynamics of a specific complex or its particular dynamic feature. We propose a concept of comprehensive model that would represent an internally consistent, integral framework combining information on the reduced models that led to its construction. This review explores approaches and tools that exist in engineering, mathematics, and in other domains of biology that can be used to develop a comprehensive model of photosynthesis. Equally important, we investigated techniques by which one can rigorously reduce such a comprehensive model to models of low dimensionality, which preserve dynamic features of interest and, thus, contribute to a better understanding of photosynthesis under natural and thus fluctuating conditions. The web-based platform is introduced as an arena where these concepts and tools are being introduced and tested.


Chlorophyll fluorescence emissionForced oscillationsNon-linearityPhotosystem IISystem biologySystem decompositionModel reduction



Crassulacean acid metabolism




Maximum fluorescence yield measured in light-adapted organism during saturating flash of light


Difference between the maximum fluorescence Fm′ and steady state fluorescence yields


Ordinary differential equations




Photosystem I


Photosystem II


Primary quinone acceptor of Photosystem II


Quasi steady-state approximation


Systems Biology Markup Language

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007