Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 353–363 | Cite as

Light environment within a leaf. II. Progress in the past one-third century

  • Terashima IchiroEmail author
  • Ooeda Hiroki
  • Fujita Takashi
  • Oguchi Riichi
JPR Symposium Responses of the Photosynthetic Systems to Spatio-temporal Variations in Light Environments: Scaling and Eco-devo Approaches


Studies directly related to light environments within a leaf, conduced mainly in the past one-third century, are reviewed. In particular, studies that revealed the profiles of light absorption and photosynthetic capacity are highlighted. Progress in this research field has been accelerated by devising innovative techniques. Roles of the main photosynthetic tissues, the palisade and spongy tissues, as the light guide and diffuser, respectively, are discussed. When the leaf is illuminated with diffuse light, light is absorbed more by the chloroplasts located near the illuminated surface. The meanings of the occupation of the mesophyll surfaces facing the intercellular spaces by chloroplasts and chloroplast movement are also discussed. The discrepancy between the light absorption profile and that of photosynthetic capacity is examined most intensively.


Chloroplast movement Diffuse light Fluorescence Palisade tissue Photosynthesis Spongy tissue 



We would like to dedicate this review article to late Professor Jan Anderson who passed away on 28 August 2015. She revealed the relationship between structure and functions of thylakoids. We thank Dr. Tom Vogelmann, Dr. Hiroyuki Muraoka, and Dr. Hibiki Noda-Muraoka for their useful and encouraging comments on the manuscript. Our studies have been supported by several grants form the Moritani Foundation, Yamada Science Foundation, and the Ministry of Eduation, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, for these 20 years.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terashima Ichiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ooeda Hiroki
    • 1
  • Fujita Takashi
    • 1
  • Oguchi Riichi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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