Light sheet microscopy imaging of light absorption and photosynthesis distribution in plant tissue

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Plant Physiology, 2017, 175 (2), pp. 721 - 733
Issue Date:
2017-10-01
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© 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved. In vivo variable chlorophyll fluorescence measurements of photosystem II (PSII) quantum yields in optically dense systems are complicated by steep tissue light gradients due to scattering and absorption. Consequently, externally measured effective PSII quantum yields may be composed of signals derived from cells differentially exposed to actinic light, where cells located deeper inside tissues receive lower irradiance than cells closer to the surface and can display distinct photophysiological status. We demonstrate how measured distributions of PSII quantum yields in plant tissue change under natural tissue light gradients as compared with conventionally measured quantum yields with even exposure to actinic light. This was achieved by applying actinic irradiance perpendicular to one side of thallus cross sections of the aquatic macrophyte Fucus vesiculosus with laser light sheets of defined spectral composition, while imaging variable chlorophyll fluorescence from cross sections with a microscope-mounted pulse amplitudemodulated imaging system. We show that quantum yields are highly affected by light gradients and that traditional surface-based variable chlorophyll fluorescence measurements result in substantial underestimations and/or overestimations, depending on incident actinic irradiance. We present a method for using chlorophyll fluorescence profiles in combination with integrating sphere measurements of reflectance and transmittance to calculate depth-resolved photon absorption profiles, which can be used to correct apparent PSII electron transport rates to photons absorbed by PSII. Absorption profiles of the investigated aquatic macrophyte were different in shape from what is typically observed in terrestrial leaves, and based on this finding,we discuss strategies for optimizing photon absorption via modulation of the structural organization of phytoelements according to in situ light environments.
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