Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 189–197 | Cite as

Simultaneous gas exchange and fluorescence measurements indicate differences in the response of sunflower, bean and maize to water stress

  • Ralph Scheuermann
  • Klaus Biehler
  • Thomas Stuhlfauth
  • Heinrich P. Fock
Regular Paper


Gas exchange and fluorescence measurements of attached leaves of water stressed bean, sunflower and maize plants were carried out at two light intensities (250 μmol quanta m-2s-1 and 850 μmol quanta m-2s-1). Besides the restriction of transpiration and CO2 uptake, the dissipation of excess light energy was clearly reflected in the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis under stress conditions. Bean and maize plants preferentially use non-photochemical quenching for light energy dissipation. In sunflower plants, excess light energy gave rise to photochemical quenching. Autoradiography of leaves after photosynthesis in 14CO2 demonstrated the occurrence of leaf patchiness in sunflower and maize but not in bean. The contribution of CO2 recycling within the leaves to energy dissipation was investigated by studies in 2.5% oxygen to suppress photorespiration. The participation of different energy dissipating mechanisms to quanta comsumption on agriculturally relevant species is discussed.

Key words

drought fluorescence quenching gas exchange Helianthus annuus patchiness Phaseolus vulgaris Zea mays 



minimal fluorescence


maximal fluorescence


peak fluorescence


leaf conductance


net CO2 uptake


coefficient of non-photochemical quenching


coefficient of photochemical quenching


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Asada K and Takahashi M (1987) Production and scavenging of active oxygen and photosynthesis. In: Kyle DJ, Osmond CB and Arntzen CJ (eds) Photoinhibition, pp 227–288. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science PublishersGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker TW and Fock HP (1989) Incorporation of 14C and 15N into intermediates of the photorespiratory nitrogen cycle by maize leaves under water stress. Photosynthetica 23: 655–663Google Scholar
  3. Becker TW, Hoppe M and Fock HP (1986) Evidence for the participation of dissimilatory processes in maintaining high carbon fluxes through the photosynthetic carbon reduction and oxidation cycles in water stressed Phaseolus leaves. Photosynthetica 20: 153–157Google Scholar
  4. Ben GY, Osmond CB and Sharkey TD (1987) Comparisons of photosynthetic responses of Xanthium strumarium and Helianthus annuus to chronic and acute water stress in sun and shade. Plant Physiol 84: 476–482Google Scholar
  5. Berry J and Farquhar G (1978) The CO2 concentrating function of C4 photosynthesis. A biochemical model. In: Hall D, Coombs J and Goodwin TW (eds) Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress on Photosynthesis, pp 119–131. London: The Biochemical SocietyGoogle Scholar
  6. Björkman O and Powles SB (1984) Inhibition of photosynthetic reactions under water stress: Interaction with light level. Planta 161: 490–504Google Scholar
  7. Boyer JS, Armand PA and Sharp RE (1987) Light stress and leaf water relations. In: Kyle DJ, Osmond CB and Arntzen CJ (eds) Photoinhibition, pp 111–122. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science PublishersGoogle Scholar
  8. Canvin DT, Berry JA, Badger MR, Fock H and Osmond CB (1980) Oxygen exchange in leaves in the light. Plant Physiol 66: 302–307Google Scholar
  9. Critchley C (1988) Photoinhibition. Photosynthetica 22: 133–134Google Scholar
  10. Daie J (1988) Mechanisms of drought-induced alterations in assimilate partitioning and transport in crops. CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci 7: 117–137Google Scholar
  11. Daley PF, Raschke K, Ball JT and Berry JA (1989) Topograpy of photosynthetic activity of leaves obtained from video images of fluorescence. Plant Physiol 90: 1233–1238Google Scholar
  12. Demmig B, Winter K, Krüger A and Czygan FC (1988) Zeaxanthin and the heat dissipation of excess light energy in Nerium oleander exposed to a combination of high light and water stress. Plant Physiol 87: 17–24Google Scholar
  13. Downton WJS, Loveys BR and Grant WJR (1988) Stomatal closure fully accounts for the inhibition of photosynthesis by abscisic acid. New Phytol 108: 263–266Google Scholar
  14. Engel L, Fock H and Schnarrenberger C (1986) CO2 and H2O gas exchange of the high alpine plant Oxyria digyna (L.) HILL. Photosynthetica 20: 293–308Google Scholar
  15. Farquhar GD, von Caemmerer S and Berry (1980) A biochemical model of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in leaves of C3 species. Planta 149: 78–90Google Scholar
  16. Gaastra P (1959) Photosynthesis of crop plants as influenced by light, carbon dioxide, temperature, and stomatal diffusion resistance. Mededelingen van de Landbouwhoge-school te Wageningen, Nederland 59: 1–68Google Scholar
  17. Husic DW, Husic HD and Tolbert NE (1987) The oxidative photosynthetic carbon cycle or C2 cycle. CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci 5: 45–100Google Scholar
  18. Idso SB (1987) Detection of global carbon dioxide effects. Nature 329: 293Google Scholar
  19. Krause GH (1988) Photoinhibition of photosynthesis. An evaluation of damaging and protective mechanisms. Physiologia Plantarum 74: 566–574Google Scholar
  20. Krause GH, Laasch H and Weis E (1988) Regulaton of thermal dissipation of absorbed light energy in chloroplasts indicated by energy dependent fluorescence quenching. Plant Physiol Biochem 26: 445–452Google Scholar
  21. Krause GH, Lorimer GH, Heber U and Kirk MR (1978) Photorespiratory energy dissipation in leaves and chloroplasts. In: Hall DO, Coombs J and Goodwin TW (eds) Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress on Photosynthesis, pp 299–310. London: The Biochemical SocietyGoogle Scholar
  22. Kyle DJ and Ohad I (1986) The mechanism of photoinhibition in higher plants and green algae. In: Staehlin LA and Arntzen CJ (eds) Photosynthesis III. Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology, new series, Vol 19. Berlin: SpringerGoogle Scholar
  23. Lawlor DW and Fock H (1975) Photosynthesis and photorespiratory CO2 evolution of water-stressed sunflower leaves. Planta 126: 247–258Google Scholar
  24. Osmond CB, Winter K and Powles SB (1980) Adaptive significance of carbon dioxide cycling during photosynthesis in water-stressed plants. In: Turner NC and Kramer PJ (eds) Adaptation of Plants to Water and High Temperature Stress, pp 139–154. New York: Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  25. Sage RF and Sharkey TD (1987) The effect of temperature on the occurrence of O2 and CO2 insensitive photosynthesis in field grown plants. Plant Physiol 84: 658–664Google Scholar
  26. Schreiber U, Schliwa U and Bilger W (1986) Continuous recording of photochemical and non-photochemical chlorophyll fluorescence with a new type of modulation fluorometer. Photosynth Res 10: 51–62Google Scholar
  27. Stuhlfauth T, Scheuermann R and Fock HP (1990) Light energy dissipation under water stress conditions. Plant Physiol 92: 1053–1061Google Scholar
  28. Stuhlfauth T, Sültemeyer DF, Weinz S and Fock HP (1988) Fluorescence quenching and gas exchange in a water stressed C3 plant, Digitalis lanata. Plant Physiol 86: 246–250Google Scholar
  29. Sundquist ET (1987) Paleoclimatology: Ice core links CO2 to climate. Nature 329: 389–390Google Scholar
  30. Weis E and Berry JA (1987) Quantum efficiency of photosystem II in relation to energy-dependent quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence. Biochim Biophys Acta 894: 198–208Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph Scheuermann
    • 1
  • Klaus Biehler
    • 1
  • Thomas Stuhlfauth
    • 1
  • Heinrich P. Fock
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich Biologie der Universität KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany

Personalised recommendations