, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 439–444 | Cite as

Estimating heat tolerance among plant species by two chlorophyll fluorescence parameters

  • J.-H. Weng
  • M.-F. Lai


The heat tolerance of 8 temperate- and 1 subtropical-origin C3 species as well as 17 tropical-origin ones, including C3, C4, and CAM species, was estimated using both F0-T curve and the ratio of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, prior to and after high temperature treatment. When leaves were heated at the rate of ca. 1 °C min−1 in darkness, the critical temperature (Tc) varied extensively among species. The Tc's of all 8 temperate-origin species ranged between 40–46 °C in winter (mean temperature 16–19 °C), and between 32–48 °C in summer (mean temperature ca. 30 °C). Those for 1 subtropical- and 12 tropical-origin C3 species ranged between 25–44 °C and 35–48 °C, and for 1 CAM and 4 C4 species were 41–47 and 45–46 °C, respectively. Acclimating three C3 herbaceous plants at high temperature (33/28 °C, day/night) for 10 d in winter caused their Tc's rising to nearly the values measured in summer. When leaves were exposed to 45 °C for 20 min and then kept at room temperature in darkness for 1 h, a significant correlation between RFv/m (the ratio of Fv/Fm before and after 45 °C treatment) and Tc was observed for all tested temperate-origin C3 species as well as tropical-origin CAM and C4 species. However, F0 and Fv/Fm of the tropical-origin C3 species were less sensitive to 45 °C treatment, regardless of a large variation of Tc; thus no significant correlation was found between their RFv/m and Tc. Thus Tc might not be a suitable index of heat tolerance for plants with wide range of environmental adaptation. Nevertheless, Tc's of tropical origin C3 species, varying and showing high plasticity to seasonal changes and temperature treatment, appeared suitable for the estimation of the degree of temperature acclimation in the same species.

Additional key words

C3, C4, and CAM plants species differences in fluorescence temperate origin thermo-tolerance tropical origin 





basic chlorophyll fluorescence


maximum chlorophyll fluorescence


potential efficiency of PS2


photosynthetic photon flux density


photosystem 2


temperature at the start of F0 sharp increase


temperature at maximum F0


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Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-H. Weng
    • 1
  • M.-F. Lai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceNational Chung-Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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