COSEE Ocean Systems: News
Phytoplankton species deviates from norm: No CO2 absorbed in photosynthesis
Description: Two new studies by researchers show that Synechococcus, a type of cyanobacteria (formerly called blue-green algae) that dominates much of the world's oceans, has evolved a mechanism that short-circuits photosynthetic carbon-dioxide fixation while still producing energy. The discovery has implications not only for scientists' basic understanding of photosynthesis- arguably the most important biological process on Earth-but also for the amount of carbon dioxide that phytoplankton pull from the atmosphere. Until now, it was thought that all the photosynthetic algae and bacteria living in the ocean drew carbon dioxide out of the air and used it to build sugars and other carbon-rich molecules to use as fuel. [Source: Stanford News Service]
Availability: Full Text
Source: Stanford News Service
Publish Date: 4/2/2008
Reading Level: Basic
Page Length: 1