Chlorophyll fluorescence: in vivo study of plant physiology

15 December 2020

A course in collaboration with the CUSO Doctoral Program Molecular Plants sciences (MPS)


Organizer & Speaker: Dr Paolo Longoni, Maître Assistant, Lab of Plant Physiology, University of Neuchâtel


Venue: online



  • Giovanni Finazzi, CNRS Research Director, CEA Grenoble, France
  • Rachael Swanson, Suneth Sooriyapathirana and Colleen Rocha, PhotosynQ LLC, USA
  • Matilde Barón Ayala, Estación Experimental del Zaidín (EEZ) Granada
  • Hamed Sattari Vayghan, PhD student in the Lab of Plant Physiology, University of Neuchâtel


The study of the fluorescence of the chlorophyll gives a direct insight into the photosynthetic activity of a plant sample. This simple technique can be employed for a wide range of research projects and be a fast and non-invasive tool for the study of plant physiology. This technique can be employed, for example, for the investigation of plant acclimation to different climatic conditions, to study species adaptation to specific ecological niches, to characterize the effect of biotic stresses and to investigate the role of specific components of the photosynthetic machinery in plant acclimation or chloroplast development.

The aim of the workshop is to give to the participants some methodological and theoretical basis to envision how to employ chlorophyll fluorescence analysis in their research projects as a tool to monitor the physiological status of the plant.

The course will be adapted on the interest of the PhD students based on a pre-course questionnaire to investigate which kind of stress/condition would they like to investigate by chlorophyll fluorescence ( pre-course questions will have to be filled up 1 month before the workshop).



Preliminary Program:

  • 9.00 Introduction

  • 9.15 Theory of the chlorophyll fluorescence (Giovanni Finazzi CEA Grenoble)

In this session, the biological meaning of the measurements will be introduced, the most common parameters introduced and contextualized in terms of their meaning in the regulation of the photochemical electron transport.

  • 10.10 Use of chlorophyll fluorescence to phenotype biotic stresses (Matilde Barón Ayala  Estación Experimental del Zaidín (EEZ) Granada)

This session will introduce the phenotypical analyses of plants following a biotic stress. Examples of different plant pathogens, virus, fungi and insects will be presented as case studies. Finally, will show how to combine chlorophyll fluorescence based techniques with other imaging techniques.

  • 11.05 Coffee/Tea Break

  • 11.30 Presentation/sharing of the research project by the participants divided by group of interest (Light, Drought, Pathogens)

Each PhD student gives an outline of their investigation to the other members of the same group of interest.

  • 13.00 Lunch break

  • 14.00 PhotosynQ Technology – Measuring fluorescence in the field  (Rachael Swanson, Suneth Sooriyapathirana and Colleen Rocha, PhotosynQ INC, USA)

Technology miniaturization allows producing compact portable devices also for fluorescence analyses. PhotosynQ will illustrate how with their instrument MultispeQ is possible to study plant physiology in the open field and correlate those measurements to specific plant stresses

  • 15.00 – 15.15 Coffee/Tea Break

  • 15.15 – 17.00 “Hands-on” session:

The three groups of interests will join private online-rooms to follow in live an experimental session using different tools to gain information on plant physiology experiencing different stresses.

  • 17.00 – 17.30 Conclusions from the experiments.

General information

Dates: 15 December 2020

Schedule: 9.00-17.30

Venue: online (Webex)

ECTS: 0.5 (Research tools)

Evaluation: Full attendance and active participation

Information: Please contact the organizer Paolo Longoni or the doctoral program coordinator Pauline Fritsch and Debora Zoia (respect. DPOB and CUSO MPS)

Registration fee: free


  • This course is free and open to all PhD students. However, until 20 November 2020 priority is given to PhD students enrolled into the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology and CUSO Molecular Plant Science Doctoral Program.
  • Post-docs are welcome as long as places are available.
  • Maximum number of participants: 12 people. 6 from CUSO Molecular Plant Sciences program, and 6 from Neuchâtel Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology.

Registration here only: OPEN !

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 50).

Deadline: 20 November 2020 Deadline extended to 27 November !