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Article on photosynthesis | scholarly search
Improving photosynthesis is now recognised as one of the most effective ways to increase crop yields and technologies such as gas exchange measurement, have a pivotal role in achieving this. For the research undertaken within the Centre, this technology is a crucial link between researchers, projects and scales.
In green plants, the biological process of photosynthesis typically occurs in leaf cells but also in all green parts of the plant (.e.g., the stems). They capture the energy from photons in sunlight, use it to energize electrons split from water and release a largely 'waste' product, (O2) — thus defining 'oxygenic' photosynthesis. The captured and transformed energy is then used to drive a set of biochemical reactions that converts (CO2) and (H2O) to a compound, a , a 3-carbon sugar..
sunlight is absorbed by chlorophyll in a leaf B
Not all photosynthesizing organisms produce oxygen. The specific physico-chemical reactions of those that do biologists refer to as oxygenic photosynthesis, and those that do not as 'anoxygenic' photosynthesis. As noted above, oxygenic photosynthesis accounts for nearly all of the oxygen in the atmosphere.
Organisms that photosynthesize operate as — viz., organisms that generate their own source of food-energy — specifically referred to as . They draw on minerals and other inorganic compounds from the environment and produce an ultimately photon-energy-derived complement of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids that self-organize the photoautotophic organism. In doing so they directly, though blindly, offer themselves as a source of food-energy (e.g., as vegetables, fruits) for consumption by us humans and other organisms, so-called — viz., organisms that feed on other organisms or on their energy-rich structural components — and indirectly provide a source of food-energy in the form of the non-human heterotrophs that we humans consume (e.g., chicken, fish and other animals). Photosynthesizing cells also supply the sufficient amounts of oxygen they and we need to generate ATP and NADPH, and they consume the 'waste' CO2 produced in the process of generating ATP.
carbon dioxide is taken in from the air C
Algae are a very diverse group of predominantly aquatic photosynthetic organisms that account for almost 50% of the photosynthesis that takes place on Earth. Algae have a wide range of antenna pigments to harvest light energy for photosynthesis giving different types of algae their characteristic colour. Early work done with algae contributed much to what is presently known about the carbon dioxide fixation pathway and the light harvesting reactions. The processes of photosynthesis in algae and higher plants are very similar. From among the three types of carbon dioxide‐concentrating mechanisms known in photosynthetic organisms, two types are found in different types of algae. Algae are proposed to play a role in the global carbon cycle by helping remove excess carbon dioxide from the environment. Recently, algae are recognized as a promising biodiesel source due to its efficient absorption and conversion of solar energy into chemical energy.
Our current scientific understanding considers the oxygen-generating-carbon-dioxide-consuming-type of photosynthesis our biosphere's most important bio-physico-chemical process, necessary for maintaining biosphere vitality, modulating the composition of the atmosphere, and providing a food source for non-photosynthesis-capable organisms, among other services it offers the biosphere. A photosynthesis-capable organism resides in a downhill energy gradient — a downhill flow of energetic solar — harvesting some of it to perform the work of , reducing its internal through , increasing its information content, remaining for a lifetime far from the equilibrium state wherein the organism becomes lifeless. Its natural lifespan may never actualize, as it enters the food chain of the non-photosynthesis-capable organisms abundant in the biosphere.
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water is transported from the roots D
As with any other technology, gas exchange machines are still evolving and there is Currently they are used all around the world, enabling a huge quantity of scientific innovation and discovery in the field of photosynthesis research (see box below). A clear example is the combination of gas exchange and carbon isotope discrimination measurements, which has led to a deeper understanding of the mesophyll conductance and its relation to temperature.
Chemistry for Biologists: Photosynthesis
In that sense, gas exchange instruments are essential to achieve translational outcomes. Susanne von Caemmerer, remarks that these instruments allow us to verify that we have achieved improvements in photosynthesis at the leaf level and then if this has any effect at the crop level. “This gives us an insight into leaf metabolism, linking photosynthesis to its underlying biochemistry,” she says. For example, if plants are grown under similar conditions, gas measurement allow scientists to study the range of photosynthetic capacity within a population of genotypes. “We then can use this knowledge to construct genetic maps of the trait, which are a powerful breeding tool for making crop improvements,” says Barbara George-Jaeggli, a Centre researcher.
NOVA - Official Website | Illuminating Photosynthesis
This technology continues being one of the best ways to access and unravel the complex photosynthetic process and our Centre researchers are recognised worldwide for their contributions in this area.
Biology of Plants: Making Food - MBGnet
Perhaps the most impressive fact about gas exchange instruments is that they are used to answer scientific questions on hugely different scales, from the molecular level of the plant, to canopy and whole-tree gas exchange with the atmosphere. “They link different studies and scales from biochemistry to molecular biology, physiology, pathology, and circulation models. Particular examples include the effects of pathogens on water use and CO uptake in leaves and roots,” says Farquhar.
Cyborg Bacteria Could Be the Key to Commercially …
Invented more than half a century ago, these instruments have since contributed to a vast number of new questions and answers on plant biology. of the equations that are embedded in the instruments that make calculations of gas exchange by Susanne von Caemmerer, Deputy Director of the Centre, and Graham Farquhar, one of the Centre’s Chief Investigators. They developed a model of C3 photosynthesis to analyse gas exchange results and this model is now used worldwide.
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