Importance of fluctuations in light on plant photosynthetic acclimation

Plant growth chambers are indispensable for most plant science researchers, but of course they do not replicate the outdoor environment. Vialet-Chabrand and Matthews et al. explore the effect of realistic, dynamic fluctuating light (for example as influenced by clouds and leaves) versus light provided in more static conditions (square wave). Plants grown under fluctuating light produced significantly smaller leaves and showed a 20% reduction in biomass accumulation as compared to those grown under square-wave light. However, the fluctuating light grown phenotype enabled these plants to perform more effectively in dynamic environments. These studies illustrate that the typical growth-chamber light regime has limitations in studies that aim to infer plant productivity in natural conditions. Plant Physiol.  10.​1104/​pp.​16.​01767