Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 123, Issue 1, pp 77–92 | Cite as

Apparent PS II absorption cross-section and estimation of mean PAR in optically thin and dense suspensions of Chlorella

Regular Paper


Theoretical prediction of effective mean PAR in optically dense samples is complicated by various optical effects, including light scattering and reflections. Direct information on the mean rate of photon absorption by PS II is provided by the kinetics of the fluorescence rise induced upon onset of strong actinic illumination (O-I1 rise). A recently introduced kinetic multi-color PAM fluorometer was applied to study the relationship between initial slope and cell density in the relatively simple model system of suspensions of Chlorella. Use of a curve fitting routine was made which was originally developed for assessment of the wavelength-dependent absorption cross-section of PS II, σII(λ), in dilute suspensions. The model underlying analysis of the O-I1 rise kinetics is outlined and data on the relationship between fitted values of σII(λ) and PAR in dilute samples are presented. With increasing cell density, lowering of apparent cross-section, <σ>(λ), with respect to σII(λ), relates to a decrease of effective mean PAR, <PAR>(λ), relative to incident PAR(λ). When ML and AL are applied in the same direction, the decline of <σ>(λ)/σII(λ) with increasing optical density is less steep than that of the theoretically predicted <PAR>(λ)/PAR(λ). It approaches a value of 0.5 when the same colors of ML and AL are used, in agreement with theory. These observations open the way for estimating mean PAR in optically dense samples via measurements of <σ>(λ)/σII(λ)).


Absorption cross-section of PS II Chlorella Chlorophyll fluorescence Multi-color-PAM O-I1 rise kinetics Photosynthesis Polyphasic fluorescence rise 



Actinic light


Chip on board




Extinction = −ln (I/I0)


Far-red light


Light emitting diode


Parameter characterizing connectivity between PS II units


Rate constant of light-driven charge separation in PS II


Multi-color-PAM chlorophyll fluorometer


Pulse-modulated measuring light


Pulse amplitude modulation


Incident photosynthetically active radiation of particular wavelength


Mean PAR of particular wavelength within optically dense samples


Absorption cross-section of PS II, as originally defined for pump-and-probe measurements


Intrinsic wavelength-dependent absorption cross-section of PS II, as defined by measurements with optically thin samples using the MC-PAM


Mean apparent absorption cross-section of PS II at a particular wavelength, as measured with the MC-PAM in optically dense samples


Saturation pulse


Single turnover light pulse


Apparent time constant of light-driven charge separation in PS II, as measured with the MC-PAM in optically thin and dense samples


Time constant of QA reoxidation, as measured with the MC-PAM

τ Time

Constant of light-driven charge separation in PS II


Time constant of QA reoxidation


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Julius-von-Sachs Institut für BiowissenschaftenUniversität WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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