In a new development in plant research, scientists have introduced plants with light green leaves in a bid to enhance photosynthetic efficiency that can have an impact on crop yield. This is to allow more light to infiltrate the crop canopy and augment overall light absorption to have an impact on crop yield. The study revealed that light green plants with reduced chlorophyll content not only improve canopy-level photosynthesis, but save a significant amount of nitrogen that could be reinvested by the plant to enhance light use and increase crop yield.
Typically, the top leaves of plants absorb much more light than what they can use, famishing lower leaves of light.
Computer Simulation Reveals Low Chlorophyll Content of Leaves Helps save Nitrogen
As stated by an associate at the University of Düsseldorf, leaves at the top are not very efficient regarding absorbing light than the ones at the bottom. That being said, some of the light that is being absorbed at the top is moved down deep, this would result in a more efficient canopy.
The idea has been tested by researchers using computer simulation that incorporated data from almost 70 varieties of soybeans with varying chlorophyll levels that were procured from germplasm bank of U.S. Department of Agriculture. Researchers revealed that plants with 20 percent low chlorophyll require 9 percent less nitrogen without affecting carbon gain and yield.
As revealed by the computer simulation, complex interior structure of leaves makes light to bounce around considerably that the probability of light to go up is same as that of going down.