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Scientists have discovered a fundamentally new type of photosynthesis

Researchers at Imperial College in London described the new type of photosynthesis process that they discovered, which, in their opinion, could change our understanding of certain processes taking place in the surrounding nature. It is still not very clear if this new knowledge can be used in the field of environmentally friendly alternative energy, but they can be accurately used to develop specially designed crops that are more efficient than existing ones.

In the new process of photosynthesis, not visible, but almost infrared light (near-infrared, NIR) is used. In normal photosynthesis, which uses all plants, the green pigment chlorophyll-a, which has the maximum absorption coefficient in the red region of the visible spectrum, participates.

During the work, British researchers found that some types of cyanobacteria instead of chlorophyll-a use chlorophyll-f (chlorophyll-f), which effectively absorbs near-infrared light. This, in turn, allows cyanobacteria to live and thrive in places where ordinary light does not penetrate, but thermal (infrared) radiation reaches.


It should be noted that scientists have known chlorophyll-f for a long time, but recent studies have helped to connect this pigment with a new type of photosynthesis. In addition, the presence of a new type of photosynthesis, which is “beyond the red limit,” is of great importance for the field of astrobiology, biology, studying the life of extraterrestrial origin. Astrobiologists use the term “red limit” as a description of the minimum amount of energy that plants should receive for the process of photosynthesis.

“This discovery is that it can radically change the material found in textbooks on biology and astrobiology,” says Professor Bill Rutherford, “In addition, it will be possible to try to” instill “the possibility of new photosynthesis to ordinary plants that receive the ability to “eat light” even at night. ”


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