Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plant cells, algae cells, and cyanobacteria. The primary function of chlorophyll molecules is radiation absorption, which provides energy essential for photosynthesis.
Hand-held chlorophyll meters typically provide a relative indication of chlorophyll in plant leaves. The patented Apogee model MC-100 chlorophyll concentration meter measures relative chlorophyll content and outputs an estimate of actual chlorophyll concentration in units of µmol per m2 of leaf surface (µmol m-2); mass per area of leaf surface, milligrams per square meter (mg m-2), has also been used.
The MC-100 provides an alternative to destructive sampling techniques for determining chlorophyll concentration. Non-destructive measurements are less time consuming and labor intensive and allows for leaves to be measured and monitored over an entire growth cycle. The meter is designed to make rapid replicate measurements of the same leaf or multiple leaves and stores the data for later use.
Typical applications of chlorophyll meters include chlorophyll concentration determination for plant nutrient status assessment, environmental stress impact, and fertilizer requirement.
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Many hand-held chlorophyll meters used by researchers output a relative index that is non-linearly related to chlorophyll content; Chlorophyll Content Index (CCI) and Special Products Analysis Division (SPAD) are two common indices used by these meters. Measurements made using a meter that outputs a relative index are not equal to the actual chlorophyll concentration in a leaf, therefore, doubling the reading displayed on the meter does not equal a doubling of chlorophyll concentration in the leaf. While it is possible to convert the relative indices to chlorophyll concentration using experimentally determined equations for you specific plant species, Apogee’s MC-100 Chlorophyll Concentration Meter measures chlorophyll concentration directly and can also provide readings in both CCI and SPAD index.