This is the author's final draft of the paper published as Photosynthesis Research, 2011, 107 (2), pp. 209-214. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com. Doi: 10.1007/s11120-010-9606-0The SPAD-502 meter is a hand-held device that is widely used for the rapid, accurate and non-destructive measurement of leaf chlorophyll concentrations. It has been employed extensively in both research and agricultural applications, with a range of different plant species. However, its utility has not been fully exploited in relation to the most intensively studied model organism for plant science research, Arabidopsis thaliana. Measurements with the SPAD-502 meter produce relative SPAD meter values that are proportional to the amount of chlorophyll present in the leaf. In order to convert these values into absolute units of chlorophyll concentration, calibration curves must be derived and utilized. Here, we present calibration equations for Arabidopsis that can be used to convert SPAD values into total chlorophyll per unit leaf area (nmol/cm2; R 2 = 0.9960) or per unit fresh weight of leaf tissue (nmol/mg; R 2 = 0.9809). These relationships were derived using a series of Arabidopsis chloroplast biogenesis mutants that exhibit chlorophyll deficiencies of varying severity, and were verified by the subsequent analysis of senescent or light-stressed leaves. Our results revealed that the converted SPAD values differ from photometric measurements of solvent-extracted chlorophyll by just ~6% on average
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