Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 133, Issue 1–3, pp 63–73 | Cite as

Estimation of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria by pulse-amplitude modulation chlorophyll fluorescence: problems and solutions

  • Takako Ogawa
  • Masahiro Misumi
  • Kintake Sonoike


Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes and widely used for photosynthetic research as model organisms. Partly due to their prokaryotic nature, however, estimation of photosynthesis by chlorophyll fluorescence measurements is sometimes problematic in cyanobacteria. For example, plastoquinone pool is reduced in the dark-acclimated samples in many cyanobacterial species so that conventional protocol developed for land plants cannot be directly applied for cyanobacteria. Even for the estimation of the simplest chlorophyll fluorescence parameter, F v/F m, some additional protocol such as addition of DCMU or illumination of weak blue light is necessary. In this review, those problems in the measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence in cyanobacteria are introduced, and solutions to those problems are given.


Chlorophyll fluorescence Cyanobacteria Nonphotochemical quenching Pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometry State transition 



3-(3, 4-Dichlorophenyl)-1, 1-dimethylurea


Maximum fluorescence determined under oxidized plastoquinone pool conditions


Maximum fluorescence under reduced plastoquinone pool conditions


Minimum fluorescence under oxidized plastoquinone pool conditions


Minimum fluorescence under reduced plastoquinone pool conditions


Stable fluorescence level


Chlorophyll fluorescence parameter indicating the maximum quantum yield of Photosystem II calculated as (F m − F 0)/F m


NAD(P)H dehydrogenase


Orange carotenoid protein


Photon flux density







This work was supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (No. 16H06552 and No. 16H06553 to K.S.) and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (No. 16H04809 to K.S.), as well as by Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow (No. 26-7221 to T.O.). We thank Dr. Yukako Hihara for the critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and SciencesWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan

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