The light response of photosynthetic induction

Plants in nature or greenhouses are often exposed to rapidly changing light intensities, which has major impacts on these plants’ photosynthesis rate. The rapidity with which a plant can respond to a change in light intensity is often measured using photosynthetic induction: a plant initially exposed to a low light is suddenly exposed to high light, and its photosynthesis rate is measured, using gas exchange (ga) and/or chlorophyll fluorescence (cf) methods. Most research characterizing the rate of photosynthetic induction uses one specific low and another specific high light intensity (for example, a step change between 0 and 1000 umol m-2 s-1), ignoring the fact that the rate of photosynthetic induction is probably strongly affected by the specific light intensities used.

To obtain a better understanding of the light response of photosynthetic induction and its dependence on genotypic variation, you will measure the dynamics of photosynthesis in a number of relevant genotypes. Work will be conducted using the Li-6800 or Li-6400 photosynthesis system. This work could be a very important stepping stone for modelling and phenotyping efforts on crop growth in the field.

Used skills

  • Gas exchange measurements
  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Data analysis

Interested in doing a BSc or MSc thesis at HPP? Please contact the HPP student coordinator Katharina Hanika.