Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis is a powerful non-invasive technique to study photosynthesis in plants and algae. Since chlorophyll fluorescence signals react sensitively to changes in physiological parameters, environmental conditions, biotic and abiotic stress events, it has become a versatile tool in plant physiology research, monitoring in greenhouses and agricultural fields, and in monitoring of entire ecosystems.
It is known since long that plants and algae contain several fluorescence chlorophyll complexes in their photosynthetic machinery, which differ both in their spectral and in their temporal signals upon interaction with light. They also differ in their responses to abiotic and biotic stresses, as well as environmental factors. Yet, present commercial equipment employed in the characterization of fluorescence responses of photosynthetic organisms almost entirely ignores this important spectral dimension. This actually means ignoring a wealth of hidden information about physiological responses and regulation processes. In a newly designed plant fluorescence analyser – ChloroSpec – we systematically recover this information by simultaneous spectral and temporal measurement and analysis. These capabilities set a new standard for the use of chlorophyll fluorescence diagnostics of photosynthetic organisms.