March 2022: Integrated biomarker responses of rice & grain yield in copper-contaminated soil


Dear PhotosynQ User,

Welcome to the PhotosynQ community newsletter!


We have the following study by Htwe et al. (2021) as our featured project this month. This project showcases PhotosynQ's use in using chlorophyll fluorescence parameters to screen the tolerance of the crops for environmental pollutants. We hope you enjoy reading our selected study and please stay safe and healthy! Best, PhotosynQ Team


Than Htwe, Ponlachart Chotikarn, Saowapa Duangpan, Jumpen Onthong, Pimchanok Buapet, & Sutinee Sinutok


Integrated biomarker responses of rice associated with grain yield in copper-contaminated soil

Environmental Science and Pollution Research https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16314-y


This study investigated the changes in photosynthetic capacities and other performances of rice using an integrated biomarker approach to the varying levels of Copper ions in soil.

Cu toxicity is a frequent problem in agricultural soils in many parts of the world. The studying of the plant responses to Cu stress is essential for the alleviation of the problem.

The research team identified the MultispeQ as "rapid, simple, and non-destructive" and used the instrument to capture chlorophyll fluorescence measurements of rice plants treated with different concentrations of Cu.


They also measured total Reactive Oxygen Species, Malondialdehyde (MDA), an indicator of the oxidative stress, & yield components to calculate the integrated biomarker response (IBR) estimates.


Figure 1. a: Phi2, b: PhiNPQ, and c: PhiNO under the Cu concentrations shown in the legend at tillering, flowering, and harvesting stages. Bars represent mean ± SE (n=4). Bars carrying different letters are significantly different at p ≤ 0.05 (Tukey's test)

According to Figure 1 (above),

Increasing Cu concentrations has a significant effect on the photosynthetic capacity of rice at all development stages, except for the harvesting stage.

According to Figure 2 (below),

Increasing Cu concentrations significantly reduced grain yield.


Figure 2. Effect of Cu ions on yield. Bars represent mean ± SE (n=4). Bars carrying different letters are significantly different at p ≤ 0.05 (Tukey's test)

This study highlights the correlation of MultispeQ-derived chlorophyll fluorescence parameters with stress tolerance in crops, showing the power of using PhiNPQ and Phi2 as potential biomarkers for screening crops under this stress. These findings can help researchers in determining safety margins for copper contamination in the future.

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