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Detection of photosynthetic activity under cadmium stress by measurement of the red and far-red chlorophyll fluorescence

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In this work it is shown that, with a new spectroscopic method based on ultraviolet light emitting diode-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (UV-LED IFS), the photosynthetic activity of an intact attached leaf can be measured in a non-destructive way within a few seconds. The effects of cadmium (Cd) toxicity on the photosynthetic activity of tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) were studied using various CdCl2 (cadmium chloride) concentrations. The Cd treatment decreases the photosynthetic activity, measured via a decline of the variable chlorophyll (chl) fluorescence decrease ratio (R Fd) values, calculated at 690 and 730 nm. The chl fluorescence ratios of intensity (FIR) and band area were also calculated. It was found that the R Fd(690) and R Fd(730) values decreased whereas the FIR increased from 1 μM Cd treatment and this behaviour is enhanced with the increasing of Cd concentrations. At 10 and 25 μM Cd, the decrease in R Fd values was associated with a strong decline in the chlorophyll-a + chlorophyll-b (chl-a + b). The chl-a + b decline could also be followed via an increase of the chl fluorescence ratio F 690/F 730. Our study demonstrates that the UV-LED IFS is a promising technique for early detection of Cd stress (from 1 μM) in tomato plants, before visual symptoms appear.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Unité de Recherche ‘Nutrition et Métabolisme Azotés et Protéine de Stress’Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Campus Universitaire, 2092Tunis, Tunisia 2: Laboratoire de Spectroscopie Atomique-Moléculaire et Applications, Département de Physique,Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Campus Universitaire, 2092Tunis, Tunisia 3: Laser Research Institute, Department of Physics,University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland7602, South Africa

Publication date: August 10, 2011

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