Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 499–509 | Cite as

Evaluation of temperature stress tolerance in cultivated and wild tomatoes using photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence

  • Rong Zhou
  • Zhen Wu
  • Xu Wang
  • Eva Rosenqvist
  • Yinlei Wang
  • Tongmin Zhao
  • Carl-Otto Ottosen
Research Report Cultivation Physiology


Tomato cultivation at lower or higher temperatures than the optimum negatively affects plant growth and development. Large differences in abiotic stress tolerance have been found between Solanum lycopersicum and wild tomato species. Our aim was to compare temperature stress tolerance in cultivated and wild tomato genotypes to identify cold- and heat-tolerant tomatoes for further utilization in tomato breeding. The maintained net photosynthetic rate (PN) and chlorophyll fluorescence was related to the tolerance of tomatoes at temperature stress. The PN and chlorophyll fluorescence of one cultivated tomato (Ly from S. lycopersicum) and six wild tomatoes genotypes (Ha from Solanum habrochaites, Pe from Solanum pennellii, Pi1 and Pi2 from Solanum pimpinellifolium, Pr1 and Pr2 from Solanum peruvianum) grown at low (12 °C) and high (33 °C) temperatures were compared. The PN of four tomato genotypes during temperature stress were lower than the control, but not in Pe, Pr1, and Pr2. The maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) of the cultivated tomatoes was lower at both 12 and 33 °C than the control using Handy PEA, whereas Fv/Fm using MINI-PAM was lower only at 12 °C. The chlorophyll fluorescence OJIP transient (OJIP curve) revealed differences between temperature stress responses and tomato genotype. With the exception of Pr2, the Fv/Fm in wild tomatoes was unaffected by temperature stress; however, they still maintained clear genotype differences for other physiological traits such as PN, quantum yield of PSII (Fq′/Fm′), electron transport rate, non-photochemical quenching, and the fraction of open PSII centers (qL). These results indicated that the wild tomato varieties Pe and Pr1 had the highest temperature stress tolerance, while the cultivated species was the more sensitive to temperature stress in comparison. In general, the wild tomato genotypes were more tolerant to both cold and heat stress than the cultivated tomato, suggesting that these wild species could be used to uncover underlying mechanisms of temperature stress tolerance and will be promising sources of genetic variability for temperature stress tolerance in breeding programs.


Tomato Low temperature High temperature Photosynthesis Chlorophyll fluorescence 



Photosystem II


Net photosynthetic rate


Stomatal conductance


Transpiration rate


Intracellular CO2 concentration


Maximum quantum efficiency of PSII


Maximum primary yield of photochemistry of PSII


Quantum yield of PSII


Electron transport rate


Non-photochemical quenching


Fraction of open PSII centers



The authors appreciate the funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31601745), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20160579) and ERDF EU project GreenGrowing. We acknowledge Ms. Ruth Nielsen and Xiaqing Yu for their assistance with the experiment.

Author’s contribution

RZ, CO and TZ designed the experiment, RZ performed the experiment, RZ and XW analyzed the data. RZ wrote the manuscript. ZW, XW, ER, YW, TZ, and CO provided valuable comments for the revision of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical statement

The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration and has not been published previously.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rong Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhen Wu
    • 3
  • Xu Wang
    • 3
  • Eva Rosenqvist
    • 4
  • Yinlei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tongmin Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carl-Otto Ottosen
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Vegetable CropJiangsu Province Academy of Agricultural ScienceNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Horticultural Crop Genetic ImprovementNanjingChina
  3. 3.College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenTaastrupDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Food ScienceAarhus UniversityAarslevDenmark

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