such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
Chl a fluorescence imaging systems can be used to investigate the functioning of PSII on a spatial level, provided the relative yield of fluorescence can be imaged when the system being investigated is in one or more known states. Specifically, it is pretty much essential that a system should, at the very least, have the facility to image Fm and F'm. Construction of most types of parameter image (see the section on ‘Deriving information from chlorophyll a fluorescence’) also require an image of Fo and/or F'. Without the ability to image Fo (with the capacity to image only Fm, F'm and F') it is only possible to construct images of two useful fluorescence parameters; F'q/F'm and Fm/F'm – 1. In addition, there are many situations where the reliability of information derived from Fm/F'm – 1 images is vastly increased by reference to an image of Fv/Fm (see ‘Quantifying down-regulation at PSII’ within the section on ‘Deriving information from chlorophyll a fluorescence’). Consequently, it is clear that the ability to image Fo greatly enhances the functionality of Chl a fluorescence imaging systems.
With microscope-based systems, there is generally no problem in providing the photon irradiance required for accurate determination of Fm and F'm. Conversely, with imaging systems that image over areas of more than a few square centimetres, the lighting set-up required for the provision of the super-saturating pulses can quite easily end up being the most expensive component; particularly if LEDs are used for this purpose. While even relatively cheap CCD camera systems have the performance characteristics required for imaging Fo at low resolution, a Peltier-cooled CCD camera is highly desirable, if not essential, for the generation of usable Fo images at the microscopic level.
The emergence of commercially available systems make it likely that Chl a fluorescence imaging will move rapidly from being a specialized laboratory method to one that is as widely used as conventional (integrating) Chl a fluorometry is now. Although imaging of Chl a fluorescence can provide new insights into a whole range of physiological issues, by allowing for the investigation of heterogeneous phenomena, it seems likely that the majority of instruments will actually be used to provide the functionality of multiple conventional fluorometers; primarily in screening programmes.
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