Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging as tool for understanding the impact of fungal diseases on plant performance: a phenomics perspective

Julie D. Scholes A B and Stephen A. Rolfe A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.

B Corresponding author. Email: j.scholes@sheffield.ac.uk

This paper originates from a presentation at the 1st International Plant Phenomics Symposium, Canberra, Australia, April 2009.

Functional Plant Biology 36(11) 880-892 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP09145
Submitted: 9 June 2009  Accepted: 24 August 2009   Published: 5 November 2009

Abstract

Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging is a non-invasive, non-destructive means with which to examine the impact of fungal pathogens on the photosynthetic metabolism of host plants. As such, it has great potential for screening purposes in high-throughput phenomics environments. However, there is great diversity in the responses of plants to different plant-fungal pathogens and the choice of suitable experimental conditions and protocols and interpretation of the results requires both preliminary laboratory experiments and an understanding of the biology of the specific plant-pathogen interaction. In this review, we examine the interaction between biotrophic, hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic fungal pathogens and their hosts to illustrate the extent to which chlorophyll fluorescence imaging can be used to detect the presence of disease before the appearance of visible symptoms, distinguish between compatible and incompatible fungal interactions, identify heterogeneity in photosynthetic performance within the infected leaf and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms. The limitations and challenges of using chlorophyll fluorescence imaging in high throughput screens is discussed.

Additional keywords: biotroph, hemi-biotroph, necrotroph.


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