Monitoring and screening plant populations with combined thermal and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging

Laury Chaerle, Ilkka Leinonen, Hamlyn G. Jones, Dominique Van Der Straeten

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199 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging are powerful tools for the study of spatial and temporal heterogeneity of leaf transpiration and photosynthetic performance. The relative advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are discussed. When combined, they can highlight pre-symptomatic responses not yet apparent in visual spectrum images and provide specific signatures for diagnosis of distinct diseases and abiotic stresses. In addition, their use for diagnosis and for selection for stomatal or photosynthetic mutants, these techniques can be applied for stress tolerance screening. For example, rapid screening for stomatal responses can be achieved by thermal imaging, while, combined with fluorescence imaging to study photosynthesis, they can potentially be used to derive leaf water use efficiency as a screening parameter. A particular advantage of imaging is that it allows continuous automated monitoring of dynamic spatial variation. Examples of applications include the study of growth and development of plant lines differing in stress resistance, yield, circadian clock-controlled responses, and the possible interactions between these parameters. In the future, such dual-imaging systems could be extended with complementary techniques such as hyperspectral and blue-green fluorescence imaging. This would result in an increased number of quantified parameters which will increase the power of stress diagnosis and the potential for screening of stress-tolerant genotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-784
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging
  • Hypersensitive reaction
  • Rhythm
  • Screening
  • Stress
  • Thermography


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