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Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2018 Jun;1862(6):1350-1363. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.03.005. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

Imaging linear and circular polarization features in leaves with complete Mueller matrix polarimetry.

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Molecular Cell Physiology, VU Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1108, 1081 HZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Optical Sensing Lab, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, Leiden 2300 RA, The Netherlands.
LaserLaB, VU Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1083, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands.
HIMS, Photonics Group, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 4, Utrecht 3584 CD, The Netherlands.
Systems Bioinformatics, VU Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1108, Amsterdam 1081 HZ, The Netherlands.
Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Senior Science Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA.
Institute of Plant Biology, Biological Research Centre, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 521, Szeged H-6701, Hungary; Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, Slezská Ostrava, Czech Republic.


Spectropolarimetry of intact plant leaves allows to probe the molecular architecture of vegetation photosynthesis in a non-invasive and non-destructive way and, as such, can offer a wealth of physiological information. In addition to the molecular signals due to the photosynthetic machinery, the cell structure and its arrangement within a leaf can create and modify polarization signals. Using Mueller matrix polarimetry with rotating retarder modulation, we have visualized spatial variations in polarization in transmission around the chlorophyll a absorbance band from 650 nm to 710 nm. We show linear and circular polarization measurements of maple leaves and cultivated maize leaves and discuss the corresponding Mueller matrices and the Mueller matrix decompositions, which show distinct features in diattenuation, polarizance, retardance and depolarization. Importantly, while normal leaf tissue shows a typical split signal with both a negative and a positive peak in the induced fractional circular polarization and circular dichroism, the signals close to the veins only display a negative band. The results are similar to the negative band as reported earlier for single macrodomains. We discuss the possible role of the chloroplast orientation around the veins as a cause of this phenomenon. Systematic artefacts are ruled out as three independent measurements by different instruments gave similar results. These results provide better insight into circular polarization measurements on whole leaves and options for vegetation remote sensing using circular polarization.


Chlorophyll a; Chloroplast; Circular dichroism; Mueller matrix polarimetry; Photosynthesis

[Available on 2019-06-01]
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