Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 87–91 | Cite as

Is dimethylsulfoxide a reliable solvent for extracting chlorophyll under field conditions?

  • Michelle A. Tait
  • David S. Hik


Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) appears to be a reliable solvent for extracting chlorophyll (Chl), however, modification of standard methods may be necessary for some species under field conditions. We found that Chl extraction of whole leaf tissue with DMSO incubated at between 25 and 40 °C was generally similar to the 80% acetone method, except for one graminoid species that required maceration. There was little effect of incubation temperature or duration of incubation beyond 7 h on extraction efficiency, but DMSO extracts were less stable than acetone extracts during one week of cold storage, especially if they thawed during this period. Since Chl extraction methods may provide variable results, particularly in the field, studies using different solvents should be compared cautiously unless specific methods have been calibrated.

acetone chlorophyll extraction dimethylsulfoxide DMSO field methodology 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle A. Tait
    • 1
  • David S. Hik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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