, 214:68 | Cite as

Phenotyping of faba beans (Vicia faba L.) under cold and heat stresses using chlorophyll fluorescence

  • Rong Zhou
  • Benita Hyldgaard
  • Xiaqing Yu
  • Eva Rosenqvist
  • Rosina Magaña Ugarte
  • Shanxiang Yu
  • Zhen Wu
  • Carl-Otto Ottosen
  • Tongmin Zhao


Temperature stress including low and high temperature adversely affect the growth, development and productivity of crops. Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is an important crop as both human food source and animal feed, which contains a range of varieties that are sensitive to cold and heat stresses. In this study, 127 faba bean genotypes were collected from gene banks based on differences in geographical origin. The 127 genotypes were treated by single cold stress (2/2 °C day/night temperature (DT/NT)) and 42 genotypes were treated by either single episode of cold or heat (38/30 °C DT/NT) stress, or a combination of both at photosynthetic photon flux density of 250 µmol m−2 s−1. Chlorophyll fluorescence was used to detect the tolerance of faba beans to low and high temperatures. The maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (PSII), Fv/Fm, revealed pronounced differences in cold tolerance among the faba bean genotypes. The 42 genotypes were clustered into four groups according to cold and heat stresses, respectively, and the susceptibilities of faba beans under temperature stress could be distinguished. The combination of cold and heat stresses could aggravate the damage on reproductive organs, but not on the leaves, as indicated by the Fv/Fm. These results confirm that the use of Fv/Fm is a useful approach for detecting low and high temperature damage to photosystem II and to identify tolerant faba bean genotypes, however the results also indicate that the geographical origin of the genotypes could not directly be used to predict climate resilience. These sources of cold- and heat-tolerance could improve the temperature tolerance of faba bean in breeding programs.


Faba bean Cold stress Heat stress Fv/Fm 



The authors thank Ms. Ruth Nielsen, Ms. Helle Kjaersgaard and Mr. Kaj Ole Dideriksen for their assistance during the experiments. We also acknowledge the funding from the GLUD Foundation, Denmark and ERDF EU project GreenGrowing. Congratulations to Ruth. Have a nice long holiday.

Supplementary material

10681_2018_2154_MOESM1_ESM.docx (47 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 (DOCX 46 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vegetable Research InstituteJiangsu Academy of Agricultural ScienceNanjingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Genetic Improvement of High Efficiency Horticultural Crops in Jiangsu ProvinceNanjingChina
  3. 3.College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Department of Food ScienceAarhus UniversityAarslevDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenTaastrupDenmark

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