Photosynthetic light response curves and reflectance spectra (380-2500 nm) were measured for soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) leaves with a range of chlorophyll concentrations at various soil water contents. Regression lines for the relationship between the photosynthetic light use efficiency (LUEp) and photochemical reflectance index (PRI) under different soil water content θ almost all passed through a common point (PRI, LUEp) = (-0.04, 0), so that the LUEp could be expressed simply as LUEp = kAPRI using an adjusted PRI [APRI = (ρ531-ρ570)/(ρ531-ρ570)+0.04]. The effect of soil moisture was strong under dry conditions and gradually decreased with increasing θ. There was no effect of θ above 25% (v/v). The effect of θ on the APRI-LUEp relationship was expressed by a simple exponential function. These results should provide a new basis for applications in dynamic diagnosis of photosynthetic functioning of plant leaves and in the prediction of plant productivity. The change in the slope of LUE vs. APRI may provide further ways of assessing volumetric soil water content.