Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 189–206 | Cite as

Deriving fluorometer-specific values of relative PSI fluorescence intensity from quenching of F 0 fluorescence in leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana and Zea mays

  • Erhard E. PfündelEmail author
  • Christof Klughammer
  • Armin Meister
  • Zoran G. Cerovic
Emerging Techniques


The effect of stepwise increments of red light intensities on pulse-amplitude modulated (PAM) chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence from leaves of A. thaliana and Z. mays was investigated. Minimum and maximum fluorescence were measured before illumination (F 0 and F M, respectively) and at the end of each light step (\( F^{\prime}_{0} \) and \( F^{\prime}_{\text{M}} \), respectively). Calculated \( F^{\prime}_{0} \) values derived from F 0, F M and \( F^{\prime}_{\text{M}} \) fluorescence according to Oxborough and Baker (1997) were lower than the corresponding measured \( F^{\prime}_{0} \) values. Based on the concept that calculated \( F^{\prime}_{0} \) values are under-estimated because the underlying theory ignores PSI fluorescence, a method was devised to gain relative PSI fluorescence intensities from differences between calculated and measured \( F^{\prime}_{0} \). This method yields fluorometer-specific PSI data as its input data (F 0, F M, \( F^{\prime}_{0} \) and \( F^{\prime}_{\text{M}} \)) depend solely on the spectral properties of the fluorometer used. Under the present conditions, the PSI contribution to F 0 fluorescence was 0.24 in A. thaliana and it was independent on the light acclimation status; the corresponding value was 0.50 in Z. mays. Correction for PSI fluorescence affected Z. mays most: the linear relationship between PSI and PSII photochemical yields was clearly shifted toward the one-to-one proportionality line and maximum electron transport was increased by 50 %. Further, correction for PSI fluorescence increased the PSII reaction center-specific parameter, 1/F 0 − 1/F M, up to 50 % in A. thaliana and up to 400 % in Z. mays.


C4 photosynthesis Light-response curve PAM fluorescence Photosynthesis Quantum yield for photochemistry 



Effective yield for PSII photochemistry

Chl a

Chlorophyll a

Chl b

Chlorophyll b


Electron transport rate


Minimum fluorescence intensity in the dark-acclimated state

\( F^{\prime}_{0} \)

Minimum fluorescence intensity in the light-acclimated state


Photosystem I fluorescence intensity


Maximum fluorescence intensity in the dark-acclimated state

\( F^{\prime}_{\text{M}} \)

Maximum fluorescence intensity in the light-acclimated state


PSII reaction center-specific factor


Maximum yield for primary photochemistry of PSII


Green house-grown


High-light acclimated


Low-light grown


Photosynthetic photon flux density


Photosystem I


Photosystem II



We thank Lars Nichelmann for providing seed and instructions on plant growth. We are grateful to Frank Reichel and Thomas Simon for skillful technical assistance. EP wishes to thank the Heinz Walz GmbH for supporting his research visit at Université Paris-Sud and Gabriel Cornic for fruitful discussions and for creating an inspiring research environment. We are grateful to Dr. Robert Porra for help in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erhard E. Pfündel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christof Klughammer
    • 3
  • Armin Meister
    • 4
  • Zoran G. Cerovic
    • 5
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Botanik II der Universität WürzburgJulius-von-Sachs Institut für BiowissenschaftenWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Heinz Walz GmbHEffeltrichGermany
  3. 3.RheinfeldenGermany
  4. 4.Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK)GaterslebenGermany
  5. 5.Equipe de Biospectroscopie Végétale, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Systématique et Evolution (UMR 8079) CNRS, Département d’Ecophysiologie VégétaleUniversité Paris-Sud 11Orsay CedexFrance

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