Monitoring the photosynthetic performance of plants is a major key to understanding how plants adapt to their growth conditions. Stress tolerance traits have a high genetic complexity as plants are constantly, and unavoidably, exposed to numerous stress factors, which limits their growth rates in the natural environment. Arabidopsis thaliana, with its broad genetic diversity and wide climatic range, has been shown to successfully adapt to stressful conditions to ensure the completion of its life cycle. As a result, A. thaliana has become a robust and renowned plant model system for studying natural variation and conducting gene discovery studies. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) in restructured populations combining natural and recombinant lines is a particularly effective way to identify the genetic basis of complex traits. As most abiotic stresses affect photosynthetic activity, chlorophyll fluorescence measurements are a potential phenotyping technique for monitoring plant performance under stress conditions. This review focuses on the use of chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool to study genetic variation underlying the stress tolerance responses to abiotic stress in A. thaliana.
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