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Tag: Photosynthesis

Phytoplankton perform photosynthesis, bloom beneath Arctic sea ice

Phytoplankton perform photosynthesis, bloom beneath Arctic sea ice

Science
Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Phytoplankton, tiny single-celled algae, anchor marine food webs throughout Earth's oceans. Now, new research suggests the tiny free-floating microorganisms play a central role in the functioning Arctic marine ecosystem. For decades, scientists assumed phytoplankton in the Arctic go dormant during the winter and early spring, proliferating only after Arctic sea ice begins to recede during the summer. Advertisement But a new review of the scientific literature on the subject -- published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science -- suggests phytoplankton continue to perform photosynthesis and bloom beneath Arctic sea ice. "There was a long-standing assumption that what was happening under the sea ice in the water column was almost 'on pause' during the polar nigh...
Different type of photosynthesis may save temperate crops from climate change

Different type of photosynthesis may save temperate crops from climate change

Science
Oct. 23 (UPI) -- In many places, climate change is expected to bring hotter, drier weather. In a new study, published Friday in the journal The Plant Cell, scientists considered whether an alternative mode of photosynthesis, might yield more heat-tolerant and drought-resistant plants. Most plants in arid and semi-arid environs use a photosynthesis method called Crassulacean acid metabolism, or CAM. Alternatively, plants in temperate environs, including crops, rely on a photosynthesis method called C3 carbon fixation. Advertisement Plants using C3 carbon fixation absorb CO2 through their leaves' stomatal pores. The daytime process allows C3 plants to immediately convert sunlight into food. When conditions are especially hot and dry, C3 metabolism causes plants to lose too much water. Conve...
Unusual structures in bacteria suggest photosynthesis older than thought

Unusual structures in bacteria suggest photosynthesis older than thought

Science
July 25 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered unusual structures in rare bacteria that resemble the cellular components that power photosynthesis. The discovery, described this week in the journal Trends in Plant Science, suggests photosynthesis has ancient evolutionary roots. Plants, algae and some bacteria perform what's known as oxygenic photosynthesis, splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen to power the process that turns solar energy into food. Some bacteria use anoxygenic photosynthesis, splitting other molecules besides water. Anoxygenic photosynthesis has long been assumed to be the more primitive of the two. Anoxygenic photosynthesis, most scientists agree, emerged 3.5 billion years ago. Oxygenic photosynthesis came a billion years later. But analysis of rare, ancient bacteria r...
Photosynthesis emerged a billion years earlier than previously thought

Photosynthesis emerged a billion years earlier than previously thought

Science
March 6 (UPI) -- According to new research, ancient microbes were performing photosynthesis as much as one billion years earlier than previously thought.Photosynthesis -- the ability to convert the sun's rays into usable energy, and in the process produce oxygen -- kickstarted early evolution, paving the way for more complex organisms. But scientists haven't been able to agree on when organisms first developed the ability.Many scientists believe anoxygenic photosynthesis evolved earliest. Anoxygenic photosynthesis involves the splitting of hydrogen sulfide, or minerals such as iron, and doesn't produce oxygen. The theory holds that cyanobacteria capable of performing oxygenic photosynthesis, which split water and yields oxygen, came later, some 2.4 to 3 billion years ago.The research of Ta...