Chlorophyll fluorescence: in vivo study of plant physiology

15-16 January 2018

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

Organizers: Paolo Longoni (University of Neuchâtel) and Emilie Demarsy (University of Geneva)



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 the plant acclimation to different climatic conditions, their adaptation to specific ecological niches, to investigate the role of specific components of the photosynthetic machinery or chloroplast development.

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

  • Learn the basis of chlorophyll fluorescence.
  • Gain basic skills to use instruments for chlorophyll fluorescence measurement.
  • Develop protocols that can be employed in the participants’ research projects.


  • Giovanni Finazzi, CNRS Research Director, CEA Grenoble, France
  • Martina Pollastrini, Department of AgriFood Production and Environmental Sciences, Section of Soil and Plant Science, University of Florence, Italy
  • Zuzana Benedikty, PSI (Photon Systems Instruments), Drasov, Czech Republic
  • Paolo Longoni, Laboratoire de physiologie végétale, University of Neuchâtel
  • Emilie Demarsy, Department of Botany and Plant Biology, University of Geneva


First day: (15 January)

  • 9.00 Registration
  • 9.10 Introduction
  • 9.30 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.
  • 10.15 Tools to measure the chlorophyll fluorescence (Klara Panzarova Photon System Instruments): This session will give an introduction to the instruments that allow this kind of measurements in particular describing how do different instruments measure the chlorophyll fluorescence and which instrument is required for a specific type of measurement. The “Fluorcam” will be presented as a case model, describing which possibility offers for standard and customizable measurements.
  • 11.00 Flash talk on the research project of the participants
  • 12.00 Lunch break (collective lunch offered)
  • 13.00 – 17.00 Group activity: Hands-on session: Setting protocols and taking measurements, working by groups the participants will design a proper setting and take the relevant fluorescence measurements. 
    - Constitution of the working group
    - Short discussion to identify a subject to focus on during the practical
    - An expert works with each group in order to elaborate the protocols for the analyses
    - Fluorescence measurement session with the expert

Second day: (16 January)

  • 9.00 Introduction: Application of the Chlorophyll fluorescence in the field.
  • 9.15 Analysis of forest ecosystems and plant responses to different environmental conditions (Martina Pollastrini, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Forestry and Wood): This session will introduce practical aspects of the implementation of the chlorophyll fluorescence measurements in an experimental project, how do these measurements can be integrated with other approaches and which kind of data analysis can be performed. Specific case study will be presented from the speaker’s direct experience.
  • 10.00 Coffee break
  • 10.30 Group activity: Data analysis by group and preparation of the presentation
    - The expert works with the group to analyze the data obtained in the previous session
  • 12.00 Lunch break (collective lunch offered)
  • 13.00 – 17.00 Group activity: Presentation of the groups, analysis discussion and interpretation of the results and of possible further investigations.

Program (PDF)

General information

Dates: 15-16 January 2018

Schedule: 8.55-17.00

Venue: University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, Emile-Argand 11, Building D, room D023 (ground floor "TP1")

ECTS: 1.0 (Research tools)

Evaluation: Full attendance and active participation

Information: Please contact the organizers Dr Paolo Longoni or Dr Emilie Demarsy, or the doctoral program coordinator Dr Sara Santi (administration)

Registration fee: free, lunches included. Collective lunches are offered and students are invited to participate. No external meal will be reimbursed.

Travel expenses: For participants of the Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology (DP-biol ): see reimbursement conditions. For participants of the CUSO Molecular Plant Science Doctoral Program, please contact your program coordinator.

MAKE SURE you SIGN the ATTENDANCE LIST EACH and EVERY DAY and TAKE your ATTESTATION of ATTENDANCE at the END of the COURSE (no attestation will be sent by mail)


  • This course is free and open to all PhD students. However, until 22 December 2017 priority is given to PhD students enrolled into the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology and CUSO Molecular Plant Science Doctoral Program. Collective lunches are offered and students are invited to participate.
  • Post-docs are welcome as long as places are available.
  • Maximum number of participants: 16 people.
  • This course is free, but the effective cost is approx. CHF 350.00 per person. Therefore, a waiting list will be prepared to ensure that there are no empty seats.

Online Registration only: Closed

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 50).

Deadline: 8 January 2018