We have developed LED (light emitting diode) induced fluorescence transient imaging instrumentation to image the plant health/stress status by calculation of two images: Fv/Fm (variable fluorescence over saturation level of fluorescence) and the time response, tTR, of the fluorescence time curve. Within a short time interval (˜580 ms) multiple images (typically 20) are captured using the LEDs in the pulsed mode. For each pixel of the fluorescence image Fv/Fm and tTR are calculated and presented as images that correlate with the quantum yield of PSII photochemistry and the time response of this process, respectively. The advantage of the technology lies in the imaging of photosynthetic parameters within a short time interval, remotely and under light conditions. This was accomplished by the development of a high intensity pulsed LED light source (total 5 kW electrical power) and using the LEDs in the pulsed mode with a pulse width of 15 ms and time between sequential pulses of 14 ms. Using this instrumentation we investigated the effect of herbicide treatment, Sencor, on black nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.) plants. Effects of the herbicide on the first fluorescence images could be detected. At the saturation level of the fluorescence this effect disappeared. The effect of the herbicide was visualized on the Fv/Fm image and the time response tTR image. Healthy and herbicide treated parts of the plant yielded average values of Fv/Fm=0.81±0.03 and 0.06±0.02, respectively. Furthermore, the effect of drought stress was investigated on saintpaulia (Saintpaulia ionantha) plants. Under dark conditions no differences in the image of Fv/Fm and tTR could be detected between the control and the plant with drought stress. Under actinic light of 90 µmol m-2 s-1 differences were observed in images of (Fm’-F’)/Fm’ and tTR’. We conclude that for the first time images of a time response of the photosynthesis of leaves are presented. Furthermore, the proposed instrumentation can be used for high throughput screening, as a sensor in sorting machines and has potential greenhouse applications.
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