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Summary

The effect of leaf position, specific leaf weight and chlorophyll on light-saturated apparent photosynthesis, and their relationships with leaf mesophyll, among contrasting Lolium genotypes are described. Within a range of up to four fully expanded leaves on a tiller, the lower (older) leaves had greater photosynthetic activity than the upper (younger). For any particular leaf, maximum photosynthesis was attained prior to full expansion. These effects were closely related to differences in mesophyll cell size. A wide range in leaf chlorophyll levels exhibited by Lolium mutants was not associated with differences in apparent photosynthesis. Specific leaf weight and chlorophyll content were greater in thin leaves with small mesophyll cells than in thick leaves with large cells. Chlorophyll content was not associated with differences in photosynthesis in limiting light (500 ft-candles).