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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 81 No. 1, p. 105-110
    Received: Mar 28, 1988

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Reflectance, Transmittance, and Absorptance of Light by Normal, Etiolated, and Albino Corn Leaves

  1. S. J. Maas  and
  2. J. R. Dunlap
  1. USDA-ARS Subtopical Agric. Res. Lab., P.O. Box 267, Weslaco, TX 78596



An understanding of the optical properties of plant leaves is basic to the application of remote sensing to agriculture. This study was conducted to demonstrate the effects of pigments on light reflectance, transmittance and absorptance spectra of corn (Zea mays L.) leaves. Three treatments were used to produce corn seedlings with different pigmentations. Normal seedlings contained the natural complement of colored pigments (predominantly chlorophylls and carotenoids). Etiolated seedlings (grown in the dark) contained carotenoids but not chlorophylls. Albino seedlings, produced by treating seeds with fluridone (l-methyl-3-phenyl-5-[3-(trifluromethyl) phenyl]-4(1H)- pyridinone) contained no colored pigments. The morphology and histology of seedlings in the three treatments were basically similar, except that the leaves of the etiolated seedlings were characteristically elongated. Pigments did not affect leaf reflectance, transmittance, and absorptance spectra at infrared (< 2500 nm) wavelengths. Over most of the visible waveband, albino leaf reflectance was the same as the maximum observed at infrared wavelengths. The leaf absorptance spectrum of the etiolated seedlings at ultraviolet (> 350 nm) and visible wavelengths resembled the in vitro

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