Plants contain abundant autofluorescent molecules that can be used for biochemical, physiological, or imaging studies. The two most studied molecules are chlorophyll (orange/red fluorescence) and lignin (blue/green fluorescence). Chlorophyll fluorescence is used to measure the physiological state of plants using handheld devices that can measure photosynthesis, linear electron flux, and CO2
assimilation by directly scanning leaves, or by using reconnaissance imaging from a drone, an aircraft or a satellite. Lignin fluorescence can be used in imaging studies of wood for phenotyping of genetic variants in order to evaluate reaction wood formation, assess chemical modification of wood, and study fundamental cell wall properties using Förster Resonant Energy Transfer (FRET) and other methods. Many other fluorescent molecules have been characterized both within the protoplast and as components of cell walls. Such molecules have fluorescence emissions across the visible spectrum and can potentially be differentiated by spectral imaging or by evaluating their response to change in pH (ferulates) or chemicals such as Naturstoff reagent (flavonoids). Induced autofluorescence using glutaraldehyde fixation has been used to enable imaging of proteins/organelles in the cell protoplast and to allow fluorescence imaging of fungal mycelium.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited