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Spectrum of Light as a Determinant of Plant Functioning: A Historical Perspective

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Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia
2
A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia
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N.M. Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences, 119334 Moscow, Russia
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N.N. Semenov Federal Research Center for Chemical Physics, 119991 Moscow, Russia
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Faculty of Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia
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Institute of Medicine and Experimental Biology, Pskov State University, 180000 Pskov, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2020, 10(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10030025
Received: 20 January 2020 / Revised: 2 March 2020 / Accepted: 12 March 2020 / Published: 17 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science and Engineering)
The significance of the spectral composition of light for growth and other physiological functions of plants moved to the focus of “plant science” soon after the discovery of photosynthesis, if not earlier. The research in this field recently intensified due to the explosive development of computer-controlled systems for artificial illumination and documenting photosynthetic activity. The progress is also substantiated by recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of photo-regulation of assorted physiological functions in plants mediated by photoreceptors and other pigment systems. The spectral balance of solar radiation can vary significantly, affecting the functioning and development of plants. Its effects are evident on the macroscale (e.g., in individual plants growing under the forest canopy) as well as on the meso- or microscale (e.g., mutual shading of leaf cell layers and chloroplasts). The diversity of the observable effects of light spectrum variation arises through (i) the triggering of different photoreceptors, (ii) the non-uniform efficiency of spectral components in driving photosynthesis, and (iii) a variable depth of penetration of spectral components into the leaf. We depict the effects of these factors using the spectral dependence of chloroplast photorelocation movements interlinked with the changes in light penetration into (light capture by) the leaf and the photosynthetic capacity. In this review, we unfold the history of the research on the photocontrol effects and put it in the broader context of photosynthesis efficiency and photoprotection under stress caused by a high intensity of light. View Full-Text
Keywords: regulatory and energy-supplying functions of light; action spectrum of photosynthesis; inter-leaf light intensity gradient; chloroplast photorelocation regulatory and energy-supplying functions of light; action spectrum of photosynthesis; inter-leaf light intensity gradient; chloroplast photorelocation
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Ptushenko, O.S.; Ptushenko, V.V.; Solovchenko, A.E. Spectrum of Light as a Determinant of Plant Functioning: A Historical Perspective. Life 2020, 10, 25.

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