Quantifying the efficiency of photoprotection.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
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A novel emerging technology for the assessment of the photoprotective 'power' of non-photochemical fluorescence quenching (NPQ) has been reviewed and its insightful outcomes are explained using several examples. The principles of the method are described in detail as well as the work undertaken for its justification. This pulse amplitude modulated chlorophyll fluorescence approach has been applied for the past 5 years to quantify the photoprotective effectiveness of the NPQ and the light tolerance in Arabidopsis plants grown under various light conditions, during ontogenetic development as well as in a range of mutants impaired in carotenoid and protein biosynthesis. The future applications of this approach for the assessment of crop plant light tolerance are outlined. The perspective of obtaining detailed information about how the extent of photoinhibition and photoprotection can affect plant development, growth and productivity is highlighted, including the potential for us to predict the influence of environmental elements on plant performance and yield of crops. The novel methodology can be used to build up comprehensive light tolerance databases for various current and emerging varieties of crops that are grown outdoors as well as in artificial light environments, in order to optimize for the best environmental conditions that enable high crop productivity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'.
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