By David Walker
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Extra resources for The Use of the Oxygen Electrode and Fluorescence Probes in Simple Measurements of Photosynthesis
These explanations are still valid and there is evidence for both. Light-activation of enzymes is often so rapid, however, that it is unlikely to make much contribution to long periods of induction and these are probably best explained in terms of the known depletion of metabolites such as ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) (which often falls to very low concentrations in darkened leaves). Some enzymes, are activated by their substrates, as well as by light, so that there can be complex interactions between the two principal underlying factors which lead to induction.
Change from air to CO2-free air by changing the position of the 3-way tap. After 30 seconds change back to air. Transients similar to some of those illustrated in Fig. 1 should be observed. 3). These oscillations can sometimes be seen in the O2 evolution trace but become very much more evident if an electronic “differentiator” is employed. This converts “change in oxygen” into “rate of change”. The fluorescence signal which you record is already a “rate” measurement and, if photosynthesis does oscillate, associated oscillations in fluorescence become immediately apparent.
1. The excitation of chlorophyll by light. The parallel lines represent energy sub-states or electronic orbitals. Thus the energy delivered by the absorption of a blue photon (left) is sufficient to raise on electron to “excited state two” from where it rapidly returns by a process of radiationless de-excitation, “cascading” through sub-states, to excited state “one”. A photon of red light (centre) only has enough energy to raise an electron to excited state “one” but this excited state is sufficiently stable to permit useful chemical work and is, in effect, the starting point of all other events in photosynthesis.