A photoacoustic study of water infiltrated leaves

Shmuel Malkin, Marc Charland, Roger M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Photoacoustic measurements of photosynthetic energy storage were conducted on water infiltrated pea and sugar maple leaves. The samples were vacuum infiltrated with pure water or with a suitable buffer. The use of such methodology permitted an accurate determination of the energy storage parameter at low modulation frequencies, where in non-infiltrated leaves oxygen evolution dominates the photoacoustic signal and does not allow energy storage measurements. Differences between infiltration media were not essential, however the use of pure water as infiltration medium sometimes caused instability of the measured energy storage, particularly at longer experimental time. Values of energy storage in individual samples ranged mostly between 0.2 to 0.35. Measured as a function of the modulation frequency, energy storage was found to be constant from about 10 to 200 Hz for pea leaves. In sugar maple leaves, the energy storage slightly increased between 100 and 500 Hz. Obtaining an accurate value for energy storage also allowed an accurate estimation of the O2 evolution contribution to the photoacoustic signal of an unfiltrated leaf. In a maple leaf its frequency dependence showed only the effect of diffusion in the entire frequency range (10-500 Hz). Energy storage transients were observed after long periods (ca. 1/4-2 hrs) of dark adaptation upon the transition to light. In this case the initial energy storage was roughly about 1/2 that of the steady state value indicating strong PS I activity, while PS II was transiently incompetent. Energy-storage increased during illumination in a way to correspond to photosynthetic induction events as previously measured by fluorescence and O2 evolution. Transients in energy storage were also found following high light to low light transitions (i.e., switch off of the saturating background light), that paralleled similar transients in oxygen evolution, showing initial transient inactivation followed by progressive reactivation of PS II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • energy storage
  • induction
  • photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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