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Photochem Photobiol. 2001 Jul;74(1):38-45.

Optical properties and nondestructive estimation of anthocyanin content in plant leaves.

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School of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 113 Nebraska Hall, Lincoln, NE 68506, USA.


Absorption and reflectance spectra of maple (Acer platanoides), cotoneaster (Cotoneaster alaunica), dogwood (Cornus alba) and pelargonium (Pelargonium zonale) leaves with a wide range of pigment content and composition were studied in visible and near-infrared spectra in order to reveal specific anthocyanin (Anth) spectral features in leaves. Comparing absorption spectra of Anth-containing and Anth-free leaves with the same chlorophyll (Chl) content, absorption spectra of Anth in leaves were derived. The main spectral feature of Anth absorption in vivo was a peak around 550 nm; the peak magnitude was closely related to Anth content. A quantitative nondestructive technique was developed to subtract Chl contribution to reflectance in this spectral region and retrieve Anth content from reflectance over a wide range of pigment content and composition. Anth reflectance index in the form ARI = (R550)-1 - (R700)-1, where (R550)-1 and (R700)-1 are inverse reflectances at 550 and 700 nm, respectively, allowed an accurate estimation of Anth accumulation, even in minute amounts, in intact senescing and stressed leaves.

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