RUDN University biologist developed new model for analyzing photosynthesis in vivo

RUDN University biologist developed new model for analyzing photosynthesis in vivo

A RUDN University biologist has developed a model for the analysis of photosynthesis in vivo. This method allows you to calculate the absorption coefficient of light by chlorophyll, based on its reflectivity. Analysis of light absorption is important for assessing ecosystem productivity, which affects the state of the biosphere and the global climate.

Measurements of the efficiency of photosynthesis in living systems are necessary because they allow us to estimate the carbon cycle, and therefore the impact on the climate. To study photosynthesis in vivo, the vegetation absorption coefficient is used – a value that shows how deep the incident radiation penetrates the canopy. It depends on biochemical, structural and external factors, so its evaluation is very difficult. Alexei Solovchenko, an employee of RUDN University, and his colleagues from the USA and Israel have found a new way to assess this indicator.

First, biologists calculated the ratio of absorption and transmission coefficients for individual leaves and canopy in general. Measuring these coefficients for the canopy “in sum” is difficult, but for a single leaf it is simple, so knowing the ratio between them, you can calculate the absorption and transmission of canopy, knowing the coefficients for a single leaf. Then the researchers of RUDN University obtained an equation that connects the canopy absorption coefficient to the pigments absorption coefficient – primarily chlorophyll – in leaves. It turned out that the canopy, unlike a single leaf, can absorb light in the infrared range, and also, the absorption coefficients of pigments for plants with different densities of canopy, may differ. Therefore, biologists had to make appropriate changes to the final model.

The researchers tested this mathematical model describing the canopy absorption coefficient on crops with different types of photosynthesis – corn (C4 photosynthesis), soybeans and rice (C3 photosynthesis), measuring the spectra of absorbed and reflected solar radiation.

The model showed that in the blue spectral region, the canopy of rice reflects more than the canopy of other crops. Scientists believe it is because rice grows in water. Also, absorption curves for plants with C3 type of photosynthesis (soybeans and rice) obtained with the model differed from those of plants with C4 type of photosynthesis (corn), due to biochemical differences.

Thus, the model created by biologists can "predict" the absorption of light by different types of plants with different types of photosynthesis, different canopy architectures and different pigment content in the leaf.

The article was published in Remote Sensing of Environment.

Main Publications View all
15 Nov 2017
RUDN University scientists publish results of their scientific researches in highly-recognized in whole world and indexed in international databases journals (Web of Science, Scopus ect.). That, of course, corresponds to the high status of the University and its international recognition. Publications of June-September 2017 ( In Journals of categories Q1-Q3)
Student's Scientific Initiatives View all
03 Nov 2017
June 22 - 26, 2017 in Barnaul, Altai State University, took place the Summer Academy of the BRICS Youth Assembly, an international event that brought together representatives of different countries
Similar newsletter View all
30 Dec
Biologists from RUDN University discovered the secret of flaxseed oil with long shelf life

Biologists from RUDN University working together with their colleagues from the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Flax studied the genes that determine the fatty acid composition in flaxseed oil and identified polymorphisms in six of them. The team also found out what gene variations could extend the shelf life of flaxseed oil. This data can be used to improve the genetic selection of new flax breeds. The results were published in the BMC Plant Biology journal.

30 Dec 2020
RUDN University chemists developed cheap and eco-friendly surfactants

An international team including chemists from RUDN University suggested an economically feasible and environmentally friendly method to synthesize surfactants. The new compounds can become an eco-friendly alternative to traditional chemicals used in oil production, skincare products manufacture, and in the pharmaceutical industry to transport drugs to diseased body tissues.

30 Dec 2020
RUDN University Mathematicians Applied 19th Century Ideas To Modern Computerized Algebra Systems

A team of mathematicians from RUDN University added new symbolic integration functionality to the Sage computerized algebra system. The team implemented ideas and methods suggested by the German mathematician Karl Weierstrass in the 1870s.

Similar newsletter View all