The response of tomato plants to various chilling treatments was studied using two approaches for the measurement of photosynthetic activity. One involved the use of a portable fluorometer for the measurement of in-vivo chlorophyll fluorescence, while the other employed a newly introduced photoacoustic system which allowed changes in oxygen evolution to be followed in a leaf disc. A strong correlation was found between results obtained by each system and those obtained by a conventional open gas-exchange system for the determination of CO2 uptake. Both systems of measurements could readily distinguish between the effects of chilling in the dark (at 3° C for 18 h) and chilling at high photon flux density (2000 μmol m(-2) s(-1) for 5h at 5° C). Chilling in the dark had practically no effect on the quantum yield of oxygen evolution, chlorophyll fluorescence or CO2 uptake, while chilling at excessively high photon flux density resulted in a sharp reduction (50-70%) in the quantum yields obtained. The results support the view that photosystem II cannot be the primary site of damage by chilling in the dark, although it is significantly affected by chilling at high light intensity.