Application of Reflectance Spectroscopy for Analysis of Higher Plant Pigments

M. N. Merzlyak, A. A. Gitelson, O. B. Chivkunova, A. E. Solovchenko, S. I. Pogosyan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Nondestructive techniques developed by the authors for assessment of chlorophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanins in higher plant leaves and fruits are presented. The spectral features of leaf reflectance in the visible and near infrared regions are briefly considered. For pigment analysis only reflectance values at several specific wavelengths are required. The chlorophyll (Chl) content over a wide range of its changes can be assessed during leaf ontogeny using reflectance near 700 nm and, in the absence of anthocyanins, at 550 nm. The approaches used for elimination of Chl interference in the analysis of carotenoids (reflectance at 520 nm) and anthocyanins (at 550 nm) are described. The suitability of reflectance spectroscopy for estimates of carotenoid/chlorophyll ratios during leaf senescence and fruit ripening is demonstrated. The algorithms developed for pigment analysis are presented, and the conditions of their applicability are considered. Further perspectives for the application of reflectance spectroscopy including remote sensing for estimation of plant pigment content and physiological states are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalRussian Journal of Plant Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Anthocyanins
  • Carotenoids
  • Chlorophyll
  • Fruits
  • Leaves
  • Reflectance spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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