The present invention provides methods for measuring a photosynthetic parameter. The methods of the invention include the steps of: (a) illuminating a plant leaf until steady-state photosynthesis is achieved; (b) subjecting the illuminated plant leaf to a period of darkness; (c) using a kinetic spectrophotometer or kinetic spectrophotometer/fluorimeter to collect spectral data from the plant leaf treated in accordance with steps (a) and (b); and (d) determining a photosynthetic parameter from the spectral data. In another aspect, the invention provides methods for determining the physiological state of a plant.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FGO3-98ER20299 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.