NIR sensing of leaf carbohydrate concentration

As a result of photosynthesis, leaves produce carbohydrates (sucrose and starch) throughout the day. While sucrose is translocated in the plant both during the day and night, starch builds up in the chloroplast during the day and is broken down to sucrose in the night, which is then translocated to actively growing organs. Hence, there are strong diurnal rhythms to leaf carbohydrate status. In situations where the rate of carbohydrate production through photosynthesis (source strength) exceeds the demand for carbohydrates by growing organs (sink strength), carbohydrates accumulate to such an extent in leaves that they can slow down photosynthesis (feedback inhibition), which reduces its light use efficiency.

Used skills

  • Climate chamber / greenhouse growth experiments
  • NIR
  • HPLC measurements
  • Optionally: Li-6400 / Li – 6800 gas exchange measurements, or measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence only (PhotosynQ)
  • Data analysis

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