Leaf and plant age affects photosynthetic performance and photoprotective capacity

Ludwik W. Bielczynski*, Mateusz K. Łaçki, Iris Hoefnagels, Anna Gambin, Roberta Croce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this work, we studied the changes in high-light tolerance and photosynthetic activity in leaves of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) rosette throughout the vegetative stage of growth. We implemented an image-analysis work flow to analyze the capacity of both the whole plant and individual leaves to cope with excess excitation energy by following the changes in absorbed light energy partitioning. The data show that leaf and plant age are both important factors influencing the fate of excitation energy. During the dark-to-light transition, the age of the plant affects mostly steady-state levels of photochemical and nonphotochemical quenching, leading to an increased photosynthetic performance of its leaves. The age of the leaf affects the induction kinetics of nonphotochemical quenching. These observations were confirmed using model selection procedures. We further investigated how different leaves on a rosette acclimate to high light and show that younger leaves are less prone to photoinhibition than older leaves. Our results stress that both plant and leaf age should be taken into consideration during the quantification of photosynthetic and photoprotective traits to produce repeatable and reliable results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1634-1648
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Leaf and plant age affects photosynthetic performance and photoprotective capacity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this