Current Photosynthesis News and Events

Current Photosynthesis News and Events, Photosynthesis News Articles.
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Earth to reach temperature tipping point in next 20 to 30 years, new NAU study finds
Postdoc Katharyn Duffy led an international team that looked at 20 years of data from throughout the world and found that record-breaking temperatures are contributing to a significant decrease in plants' ability to absorb human-caused carbon emissions. (2021-01-13)

Earth's terrestrial ecosystems may transition from carbon sinks to carbon sources within decades
Rising temperatures could trigger Earth's terrestrial ecosystems to transition from carbon sinks to carbon sources in the next 20 to 30 years, according to data from the world's largest continuous carbon monitoring network. The researchers suggest that up to half of land ecosystems could reach this tipping point - when plants begin to release carbon into the atmosphere. (2021-01-13)

Like plants do: non-classical photosynthesis by earth's inorganic semiconducting minerals
Although much is known about biological photosynthesis, its evolutionary origin remains a mystery. In a recent study, scientists from Peking University, China, investigate the interaction between sunlight and minerals abundant on the Earth surface and propose novel mechanisms behind non-classical photosynthesis. Their work sheds light on the chemical history of our planet and suggests a way in which photosynthesis might have evolved from minerals. (2021-01-12)

Scientists develop a cheaper method that might help create fuels from plants
Scientists have figured out a cheaper, more efficient way to conduct a chemical reaction at the heart of many biological processes, which may lead to better ways to create biofuels from plants. (2021-01-08)

Possible explanation for more efficient maize growth
Plant researchers at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) have investigated the transport of compounds in maize. They focused on the mechanism used to transport the products of photosynthesis for further distribution in the plant through its phloem loading pathways. In the current edition of the journal ''The Plant Cell'', they describe how this mechanism has potentially created a special evolutionary advantage for maize. (2021-01-08)

Orange is the new 'block'
New research from Washington University in St. Louis reveals the core structure of the light-harvesting antenna of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae -- including key features that both collect energy and block excess light absorption. Scientists built a model of the large protein complex called phycobilisome that collects and transmits light energy. Phycobilisomes allow cyanobacteria to take advantage of different wavelengths of light than other photosynthetic organisms. The study, published Jan. 6, 2020 in Science Advances, yields insights relevant to future energy applications. (2021-01-06)

Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that some flag leaves of different varieties of rice transform light and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates better than others, potentially opening new opportunities for breeding higher yielding rice varieties. (2020-12-29)

New energy conversion layer for biosolar cells
A research team from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, together with colleagues from Lisbon, has produced a semi-artificial electrode that could convert light energy into other forms of energy in biosolar cells. The technique is based on the photosynthesis protein Photosystem I from cyanobacteria. The group showed that they could couple their system with an enzyme that used the converted light energy to produce hydrogen. (2020-12-21)

CRISPR helps researchers uncover how corals adjust to warming oceans
The CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system can help scientists understand, and possibly improve, how corals respond to the environmental stresses of climate change. Work led by Phillip Cleves--who joined Carnegie's Department of Embryology this fall--details how the revolutionary, Nobel Prize-winning technology can be deployed to guide conservation efforts for fragile reef ecosystems. (2020-12-21)

Light signal emitted during photosynthesis used to quickly screen crops
University of Illinois researchers have revealed a new approach to estimate the photosynthetic capacity of crops to pinpoint their top-performing traits and speed up the plant screening process, according to a new study in the Journal of Experimental Botany(2020-12-21)

Land ecosystems are becoming less efficient at absorbing CO2
Land ecosystems currently play a key role in mitigating climate change. The more carbon dioxide (CO2) plants and trees absorb during photosynthesis, the process they use to make food, the less CO2 remains trapped in the atmosphere where it can cause temperatures to rise. But scientists have identified an unsettling trend - as levels of CO2 in the atmosphere increase, 86 percent of land ecosystems globally are becoming progressively less efficient at absorbing it. (2020-12-18)

Can water saving traits help wine survive climate change?
Climate change is expected to make many grape-growing regions too hot and dry to produce high-quality wine from traditional varieties. But scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that wine grape varieties from regions that are more prone to stress have traits that could help them cope with climate change. (2020-12-17)

Engineers go microbial to store energy, sequester CO2
By borrowing nature's blueprints for photosynthesis, Cornell University bioengineers have found a way to efficiently absorb and store large-scale, low-cost renewable energy from the sun - while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide to use later as a biofuel. (2020-12-15)

Bio-inspired lanthanide-transition metal cluster for efficient overall water splitting
A bio-inspired lanthanide-transition metal cluster as oxygen-evolving center anchored on P-doped graphitic carbon nitrides for efficient photocatalytic overall water splitting was demonstrated. Mechanistic investigation shows synergistic effects of lanthanide ion and variable-valence Co ions in the oxygen-evolving reaction. This work not only prepares a synthetic model of bio-inspired oxygen-evolving center but also develops an avenue to design efficient catalysts for overall water splitting by coupling bio-inspired clusters and photoactive supports. (2020-12-10)

Carbon fertilization effects are declining worldwide, limiting their role in climate change mitigation
The widely observed carbon fertilization effects on plant photosynthesis worldwide are declining, researchers report in a new study. (2020-12-10)

The greening of the earth is approaching its limit
Vegetation has a key role in mitigating climate change because it reduces the excess CO2 that we humans emit into the atmosphere. Just as when sportsmen and women are doped with oxygen, plants also benefit from the large amounts of CO2 that accumulate in the atmosphere. If more CO2 is available, they photosynthesize and grow more, which is called the fertilizing effect of CO2. (2020-12-10)

In temperate trees, climate-driven increase in carbon capture causes autumn leaves to fall sooner
For decades, scientists have expected that the shedding of leaves from temperate trees will get later and later under ongoing climate change. (2020-11-26)

Which factors trigger leaf die-off in autumn?
Researchers at ETH Zurich have identified a self-regulating mechanism in European deciduous trees that limits their growing-season length: Trees that photosynthesise more in spring and summer lose their leaves earlier in autumn. (2020-11-26)

Research creates hydrogen-producing living droplets, paving way for alternative future energy source
Scientists have built tiny droplet-based microbial factories that produce hydrogen, instead of oxygen, when exposed to daylight in air. (2020-11-25)

Phytoplankton disturbed by nanoparticles
Products derived from nanotechnology are efficient and highly sought-after, yet their effects on the environment are still poorly understood. A research team from the University of Geneva have investigated the effects of nanosilver, currently used in almost 450 products for its antibacterial properties, on the algae known as Poterioochromonas malhamensis. The results show that nanosilver disturb the alga's entire metabolism. Its membrane becomes more permeable, the cellular ROS increases and photosynthesis is less effective. (2020-11-25)

Princeton scientists solve the mystery behind an enigmatic organelle, the pyrenoid
Princeton researchers Shan He, Martin Jonikas, and colleagues have discovered how Rubisco holoenzymes assemble to form the fluid-like matrix of the algal pyrenoid, an organelle that mediates the incorporation of carbon dioxide into sugars. The study detailing the group's findings was published November 23, 2020 in the journal Nature Plants. (2020-11-25)

Some Amazon rainforest regions more resistant to climate change than previously thought
Is the Amazon rainforest as sensitive to water stress as what the current models have been showing? Columbia Engineering researchers found that the models have been largely over-estimating water stress in tropical forests. While models show that increases in air dryness greatly diminish photosynthesis rates in certain regions of the Amazon rainforest, observational data results show the opposite: in certain very wet regions, the forests instead even increase photosynthesis rates in response to drier air. (2020-11-20)

Synthesis study demonstrates phytoplankton can bloom below Arctic sea ice
Researchers used historical scientific studies, along with contemporary observations employing autonomous floats and robotic vehicles, to demonstrate that phytoplankton blooms occur under Arctic Ocean sea ice. Previously, scientists had assumed that was impossible due to low-light conditions, particularly when ice cover was thicker before climate change. The synthesis of more than half a century of research on under-ice blooms suggests that modern computer models underestimate the contribution of microscopic algae to the Arctic carbon cycle. (2020-11-19)

Faster detection of photocatalyst-generated oxygen has big implications for clean energy
In the future, hydrogen produced from sunlight and water using photocatalysts could provide a source of clean energy. Collaboration between researchers at Japanese universities has led to the development of a method to detect the oxygen produced from this water-splitting reaction 1000 times faster. This new method can be utilized to improve our understanding of artificial photosynthesis' reaction mechanisms and could contribute towards the development and large-scale implementation of photocatalyst technology for producing hydrogen fuel. (2020-11-18)

C4 rice's first wobbly steps towards reality
An international long-term research collaboration aimed at creating high yielding and water use efficient rice varieties, has successfully installed part of the photosynthetic machinery from maize into rice. (2020-11-12)

Cassava may benefit from atmospheric change more than other crops
A team from the University of Illinois and Monash University studied how the root crop cassava, which feeds over 1 billion people, will adapt to the amount of carbon dioxide expected by the second half of this century. (2020-11-11)

Corn and other crops are not adapted to benefit from elevated carbon dioxide levels
Although rising carbon dioxide levels can boost plant growth, a new review from the University of Illinois shows that some crops, including corn, are adapted to a pre-industrial environment and cannot distribute their resources effectively to take advantage of extra CO2. (2020-11-05)

To predict how crops cope with changing climate, 30 years of experiments simulate future
Today, a review published in Global Change Biology synthesizes 30 years of 'Free-Air Concentration Enrichment' (FACE) data to grasp how global crop production may be impacted by rising CO2 levels and other factors. The study portends a less optimistic future than the authors' previous review published 15 years ago in New Phytologist. (2020-11-02)

Plankton turn hunters to survive dinosaur-killing asteroid impact
New research by an international team of scientists shows how marine organisms were forced to 'reboot' to survive following the asteroid impact 66 million years ago which killed three quarters of life on earth. (2020-10-30)

CAM modes provide environment-specific water-saving benefits in a leaf metabolic model
Several plant lineages living in arid environments have evolved crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis, a water-saving mode of carbon fixation in which CO2 uptake and CO2 fixation are temporally separated. Researchers from IPK Gatersleben and the University of Oxford tested whether full CAM is also necessarily the best solution for C3 crops grown in temperate environments and attempted to identify alternative metabolic modes that best balance the trade-off between water loss and photosynthetic productivity under a range of environments. (2020-10-29)

Engineering drought-resistant crops with Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis
This work examines requirements for introducing CAM and alternative water-saving pathways into C3 plants in different environments. (2020-10-23)

How some sea slugs keep their ability to carry out plant-like photosynthesis
Scientists have shed new light on a relationship between a sea slug and tiny structures called chloroplasts from their food algae that allow the animals to photosynthesise in a similar way to plants. (2020-10-20)

Repairing the photosynthetic enzyme Rubisco
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry decipher the molecular mechanism of Rubisco Activase (2020-10-20)

During COVID, scientists turn to computers to understand C4 photosynthesis
When COVID closed down their lab, a team from the University of Essex turned to computational approaches to understand what makes some plants better adapted to transform light and carbon dioxide into yield through photosynthesis. Most plants use C3 photosynthesis, which is more common but not as efficient as C4. They uncovered clues as to how C4 crops are able to express key enzymes in specialized cells that increase photosynthetic efficiency. (2020-10-16)

Rainforest at biosphere 2 offers glimpse into future of the Amazon
Tropical Forests may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought, according to a study led by University of Arizona ecologists. The results help solve an ongoing debate about the mechanism responsible for declines in tropical forest productivity that go hand in hand with rising global temperatures. (2020-10-12)

Study finds 'missing link' in the evolutionary history of carbon-fixing protein rubisco
The discovery of a primitive form of rubisco, a photosynthetic enzyme, will help scientists understand how carbon-fixing microorganisms led to the planet's oxygenation and how modern plants evolved (2020-10-07)

Lighting the path to recycling carbon dioxide
Combining solar-harvesting materials with carbon-dioxide-consuming microbes could be an efficient way to generate clean fuels. (2020-10-05)

Coral's resilience to warming may depend on iron
How well corals respond to climate change could depend in part on the already scarce amount of iron available in their environment, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. (2020-09-30)

In the arctic, extreme air pollution kills trees, limits growth by reducing sunlight
At the most heavily polluted site on Earth, dendroecology, dendrochemistry, and process-based forward modelling were used to explore the relationship of tree growth and mortality with industrial pollution. (2020-09-29)

A red future for improving crop production?
Researchers have found a way to engineer more efficient versions of the plant enzyme Rubisco by using a red-algae-like Rubisco from a bacterium. For 50 years scientists have strived to boost the activity of Rubisco, a promising target to increase crop production, as it controls how much and how fast plants fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars and energy during photosynthesis. (2020-09-28)

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