Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Measuring the dynamic photosynthome


Professor of Applied Plant Physiology

Shawn Kefauver

Jose Luis Araus

Onno Muller

Uwe Rascher


Tracy Lawson


Background: Photosynthesis underpins plant productivity and yet is notoriously sensitive to small changes inenvironmental conditions, meaning that quantitation in nature across different time scales is not straightforward. The ‘dynamic’ changes in photosynthesis (i.e. the kinetics of the various reactions of photosynthesis in response to environmental shifts) are now known to be important in driving crop yield.
Scope: It is known that photosynthesis does not respond in a timely manner, and even a small temporal “mismatch” between a change in the environment and the appropriate response of photosynthesis toward optimality can result in a fall in productivity. Yet the most commonly measured parameters are still made at steady state or a temporary steady state (including those for crop breeding purposes), meaning that new photosynthetic traits remain undiscovered.
Conclusions: There is a great need to understand photosynthesis dynamics from a mechanistic and biological viewpoint especially when applied to the field of ‘phenomics’ which typically uses large genetically diverse populations of plants. Despite huge advances in measurement technology in recent years, it is still unclear whether we possess the capability of capturing and describing the physiologically relevant dynamic features of field photosynthesis in sufficient detail. Such traits are highly complex, hence we dub this the ‘photosynthome’. This review sets out the state of play and describes some approaches that could be made to address this challenge with reference to the relevant biological processes involved.


Murchie, E. H., Kefauver, S., Araus, J. L., Muller, O., Rascher, U., Flood, P. J., & Lawson, T. (in press). Measuring the dynamic photosynthome. Annals of Botany,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 2, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 26, 2018
Journal Annals of Botany
Print ISSN 0305-7364
Electronic ISSN 1095-8290
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Photosynthesis, dynamic, steady state, genetics, yield, phenomics
Public URL
Publisher URL


mcy087.pdf (2.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations