Current Photosynthesis News and Events

Current Photosynthesis News and Events, Photosynthesis News Articles.
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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)

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)

The key to lowering CO2 emissions is made of metal
Researchers at Osaka City University produce malic acid, which contains 4 carbon atoms, through artificial photosynthesis by simply adding metal ions like aluminum and iron. This solves a problem with current artificial photosynthesis technology of only producing molecules with 1 carbon atom and paves the way to exploring the use of CO2 as a raw material. (2020-09-28)

Living in an anoxic world: Microbes using arsenic are a link to early life
Much of life on planet Earth today relies on oxygen to exist, but before oxygen was present on our blue planet, lifeforms likely used arsenic instead. These findings are detailed in research published today in Communications Earth and Environment. (2020-09-22)

Discovered: New resistance gene to devastating potato disease that caused Irish Famine
In a recent collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the James Hutton institute, scientists identified a diploid wild potato with a high resistance to Phytophthora infestans. They discovered novel R genes in this potato using dRenSeq analysis, and further transcriptional analysis revealed the essential role of multiple signal transduction pathways and secondary metabolic pathways in plant immunity in the wild potato. (2020-09-21)

How to get a handle on carbon dioxide uptake by plants
How much carbon dioxide, a pivotal greenhouse gas behind global warming, is absorbed by plants on land? It's a deceptively complicated question, so a Rutgers-led group of scientists recommends combining two cutting-edge tools to help answer the crucial climate change-related question. (2020-09-21)

E. coli bacteria offer path to improving photosynthesis
Cornell University scientists have engineered a key plant enzyme and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria in order to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail for improving crop yields. (2020-09-21)

Sunfleck use research needs appropriate experimental leaves
The use of light by plant leaves to drive photosynthesis is often studied in steady state environments, but most plant leaves are required to adjust to fluctuations in incident light every day. The research into use of fluctuating light by plant leaves has expanded in recent decades. (2020-09-16)

Successful improvement of the catalytic activity of photosynthetic CO2 fixing enzyme Rubisco
A research group consisting of Associate Professor FUKAYAMA Hiroshi (Kobe University) and Professor MATSUMURA Hiroyoshi (Ritsumeikan University) et al. have succeeded in greatly increasing the catalytic activity of Rubisco, the enzyme which fixes carbon from CO2 in plant photosynthesis. The research team also hypothesized the mechanism which determines the enzyme's catalytic activity. In the future, it is hoped that increasing the photosynthetic ability of agricultural crops will lead to improved yields. (2020-09-14)

Shedding light on coral reefs
New research published in the journal Coral Reefs generates the largest characterization of coral reef spectral data to date. These data are an initial step in building a quantitative understanding of reef water clarity. With these data, coral reef scientists can begin to develop models to address fundamental questions about how reefs function, such as how much light reaches the various reef zones or how ecological zonation on reefs might be driven by light absorption. (2020-09-11)

Do as plants do: Novel photocatalysts can perform solar-driven conversion of CO2 into fuel
Scientists at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, develop a novel ''heterostructured'' photocatalyst using titanium and copper, two abundant and relatively inexpensive metals. Their cost-effective synthesis procedure, coupled with the high stability of the photocatalyst, provides an economically feasible way to convert waste carbon dioxide and water into useful hydrocarbon fuels using endless sunlight. (2020-09-09)

More than just genetic code
Researchers discover how messenger RNAs transport information to where photosynthesis takes place. (2020-09-08)

Study finds missing link in the evolutionary history of carbon-fixing protein Rubisco
A team led by researchers at UC Davis has discovered a missing link in the evolution of photosynthesis and carbon fixation. Dating back more than 2.4 billion years, a newly discovered form of the plant enzyme rubisco could give new insight into plant evolution and breeding (2020-08-31)

Stealing information from host plants: How the parasitic dodder plant flowers
Recently, researchers led by WU Jianqiang from the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences uncovered the underlying mechanism for dodder flowering. The team first investigated the flowering time of the dodder Cuscuta australis and found that C. australis always synchronizes its flowering time with the flowering time of its hosts. (2020-08-31)

Observation charge accumulation at nanocavity on plasmonic photocatalyst
Understanding where the plasmonic charge accumulated at catalysts surface and how to improve local charge density at catalytic sites is promising for solar energy conversion. Scientists find plasmonic charge accumulation at nanocavity of Au nanoparticle dimer/TiO2 photocatalyst at the single particle level. Such charge accumulation at catalytic sites can significantly accelerate the water oxidation reaction with nearly one order of magnitude enhancement in the photocatalytic activities compared to Au nanoparticles on TiO2. (2020-08-28)

UC Davis researchers reveal molecular structures involved in plant respiration
A study published today (Aug. 25, 2020) in eLife provides the first-ever, atomic-level, 3D structure of the largest protein complex (complex I) involved in the plant mitochondrial electron transport chain. The results could unlock new advances in agriculture. (2020-08-25)

Wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, CO2 and water
Researchers have developed a standalone device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a carbon-neutral fuel, without requiring any additional components or electricity. (2020-08-24)

Researchers discover novel molecular mechanism that enables conifers to adapt to winter
Unlike broadleaf trees, conifers are evergreen and retain their photosynthesis structure throughout the year. Especially in late winter, the combination of freezing temperatures and high light intensity exposes the needles to oxidative damage that could lead to the destruction of molecules and cell structures that contribute to photosynthesis. Researchers from the University of Turku have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that enables spruce trees to adapt to winter. (2020-08-18)

Microbes living on air a global phenomenon
UNSW researchers have found their previous discovery of bacteria living on air in Antarctica is likely a process that occurs globally, further supporting the potential existence of microbial life on alien planets. (2020-08-18)

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