Percival, D., Kaur, J., Hainstock, L. J. and Privé, J.-P. 2012. Seasonal changes in photochemistry, light use efficiency and net photosynthetic rates of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.). Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 1135-1143. The seasonal variation of carotenoid concentration, chlorophyll a and b levels, dark- (Fv/Fm) and light-adapted (Fv'/Fm') variable to maximal chlorophyll fluorescence (an indication of the quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry) and net photosynthesis of the wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) was examined in the vegetative and cropping phases of production. Chlorophyll levels ranged from 2.0 to 12 µg cm-2 and from 0.042 to 1.4 µg cm-2 for chlorophyll a and b, respectively, were significantly lower in the cropping phase of production, and were also lower in the latter stages of the growing season. Similarly, carotenoid concentrations ranged from 0.67 to 4.1 µg cm-2 and were lower in the cropping phase of production. However, carotenoid concentration and dark- and light-adapted variable to maximal chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm and Fv'/Fm') decreased marketably at the mid-point of the growing season, presumably as a result of photoinhibition. Net photosynthetic values of upright stems ranged from 2.1 to 7.6 µmol m-2 s-1, were substantially higher in the vegetative phase of production and also decreased significantly in the latter part of the growing season. Results from this investigation indicate that the wild blueberry has a relatively low photosynthetic rate, which may be prone to photoinhibition and limited carbohydrate supply (i.e., source) when compared with other temperate fruit crops.
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