Chlorophyll a fluorescence analysis is widely used to measure photosynthetic behaviors in intact plants, and has resulted in the development of many parameters that efficiently measure photosynthesis. Leaf reflectance analysis provides several vegetation indices in ecology and agriculture, including the photochemical reflectance index (PRI), which can be used as an indicator of thermal energy dissipation during photosynthesis because it correlates with non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). However, since NPQ is a composite parameter, its validation is required to understand the nature of the PRI parameter. To obtain physiological evidence for evaluation of the PRI parameter, we simultaneously measured chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf reflectance in xanthophyll cycle defective mutant (npq1) and wild-type Arabidopsis plants. Additionally, the qZ parameter, which likely reflects the xanthophyll cycle, was extracted from the results of chlorophyll fluorescence analysis by monitoring relaxation kinetics of NPQ after switching the light off. These simultaneous measurements were carried out using a pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll fluorometer and a spectral radiometer. The fiber probes from both instruments were positioned close to each other to detect signals from the same leaf position. An external light source was used to activate photosynthesis, and the measuring lights and saturated light were provided from the PAM instrument. This experimental system enabled us to monitor light-dependent PRI in the intact plant and revealed that light-dependent changes in PRI differ significantly between the wild type and npq1 mutant. Furthermore, PRI was strongly correlated with qZ, meaning that qZ reflects the xanthophyll cycle. Together, these measurements demonstrated that simultaneous measurement of leaf reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence is a valid approach for parameter evaluation.
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