Plant and Soil

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 79–83 | Cite as

Long term delayed luminescence: A possible fast and convenient assay for nutrition deficiencies and environmental pollution damages in plants

  • Joachim Bürger
  • Werner Schmidt


Long Term Delayed Luminescence (LDL) of green plants ranging from 0.3 s up to several minutes after irradiation has been found to exhibit complex decay kinetics which are highly dependent on nutritional deficiencies and environmental pollutive components. As a model organism we utilized the unicellular green algaScenedesmus obliquus with fairly well understood properties ofLDL probably involving both photosynthetic reaction centers PS I and PS II. It is shown thatLDL is strongly affected both by depletion of the growth medium of various essential elements such as N, Fe, Ca, Mg or K, as well as by growth in the presence of environmental stress factors such as Cu, Hg, Cd or NO 2 . Therefore,LDL offers itself as a convenient, highly sensitive and specific assay for a number of stress factors in photosynthesizing plantsin vivo and in the field.

Key words

delayed fluorescence delayed luminescence (long term) nutrient deficiency pollutants (environmental) Scenedesmus obliquus spectrophotometryin vivo detection of ultra weak light 



photosystem I or II

Chl a

chlorophyll a


long term delayed luminescence, including two components termed LDL1 and LDL2


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Bürger
    • 1
  • Werner Schmidt
    • 2
  1. 1.Fachbereich Biologie Botanik der Philipps-Universität MarburgMarburg/Lahn, LahnbergeFRG
  2. 2.Fakultät für BiologieUniversität KonstanzKonstanz 1FRG

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