Portable photosynthesis meter

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Portable photosynthesis meter

https://www.lifeasible.com/custom-solutions/plant/analytical-services/plant-physiology-analysis/measurement-of-traits-regarding-plant-photosynthesis-and-water-use/Plant physiology is a discipline of studying the variety of biological processes and functional activities occurring in plants. Plant physiological processes related to photosynthesis and water use provide organic compounds and energy for their own growth, as well as the food source for other organisms. Improving photosynthetic capacity and efficiency are essential for increasing the yield potential of crops.


Lifeasible, as a leading plant biotechnology company, provides services for the measurement of traits regarding plant photosynthesis and water use, with both high-throughput and conventional methods. We are devoted to offering our customers worldwide with highly accurate and repeatable data.


Photosynthesis and respiration rate


Photosynthesis is a process in which green plants use energy from the sun to transform water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into oxygen and sugar (Figure 1). The evaluation of photosynthesis rate can be based on uptake of carbon dioxide, production of oxygen, production of carbohydrates, or increase of dry biomass. Opposite to the photosynthesis process, the respiration process utilizes the sugar and oxygen to produce energy for plant growth (Figure 1). Therefore, respiration rates are usually reflected by volume of carbon dioxide produced, volume of oxygen consumed, or fresh product consumed within a certain period of time.



Figure1. The processes of photosynthesis and respiration.


Parameters reflecting the photosynthesis and respiration rate can be measured by multiple portable photosynthesis systems with non-dispersive infrared gas analyzers (IRGA), such as Li-6400, Li-6400XT, Li-6800, CI-340, LCi-SD, and so on. In addition, we offer carbon isotope analysis for photosynthesis pathway determination. This method relies on the fact that photosynthetic enzymes (ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase) discriminate against the heavier stable isotope 13C (relative to 12C) during photosynthesis, so that C in leaves is always depleted in 13C compared with that in the atmosphere. The isotope ratio mass spectrometer (δ13C) for C3, C4, facultative crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), and obligate CAM photosynthesis is -21‰ to-35‰,-10‰ to -14‰, -15‰ to -20‰, and -10‰ to-15‰, respectively.


Leaf nitrogen content


Nitrogen plays a key role in the plant life cycle. It is the main mineral nutrient resource for the production of chlorophyll and other plant cell components (proteins, nucleic acids, amino acids). Therefore, the measurement of leaf nitrogen content is important for the evaluation of photosynthesis rate and crop yield.


We offer multiple methods for monitoring leaf nitrogen status (Figure 2), including:


Tissue analysis. Methods based on tissue analysis such as Kjeldahl-digestion and Dumas-combustion can provide reliable organic nitrogen content.

Leaf chlorophyll content. As nitrogen is an essential element in photosynthetic protein synthesis, leaf chlorophyll content can be used as an indicator of nitrogen levels. Soil-plant analyses development (SPAD) chlorophyll meter can estimate the chlorophyll content by the transmittance properties of leaves in a nondestructive manner. The Dualex is a device to measure polyphenolic compound content in leaves by means of chlorophyll fluorescence, and is able to detect nitrogen deficiency among other stresses.

Canopy reflectance measurement systems. We also provide ground-based active-mounted systems (e.g., Yara N-Sensor, GreenSeeker, CropScan) and satellite-mounted sensors (e.g., QuickBird) for canopy reflectance measurement to estimate crop nitrogen levels.

Nitrate sap content and electrical meters. Nitrate sap content can be measured by a hand-held reflectometer (e.g., the Nitrachek and the RQflex) according to the color change of nitrate test strips when exposed to the sample. Besides, nitrate content can also be reflected by electrical conductivity changes of plant sap, and can be measured by an ion selective electrode.

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