Photosynthesis

Definition

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae and certain types of bacteria synthesise carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and typically water, using light as an energy source. The process can be broken down into two stages - the light and dark reactions. NADPH and ATP generated during the light reactions fuel the formation of carbohydrates in the dark reactions.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Phytoplankton and plant plastids have distinct evolutionary origins and membrane organization. Here Flori et al. show that diatom photosynthetic complexes spatially segregate into interconnected subdomains within loose thylakoid stacks enabling fast diffusion of electron carriers and efficient photosynthesis

    • Serena Flori
    • , Pierre-Henri Jouneau
    • , Benjamin Bailleul
    • , Benoit Gallet
    • , Leandro F Estrozi
    • , Christine Moriscot
    • , Olivier Bastien
    • , Simona Eicke
    • , Alexander Schober
    • , Carolina Río Bártulos
    • , Eric Maréchal
    • , Peter G Kroth
    • , Dimitris Petroutsos
    • , Samuel Zeeman
    • , Cécile Breyton
    • , Guy Schoehn
    • , Denis Falconet
    •  & Giovanni Finazzi
  • Research |

    In plants, photosystem II forms supercomplexes of core and light-harvesting complexes. Cryo-electron microscopy and single-particle analysis provides a 3D structure of the supercomplex from Arabidopsis at 5.3 Å resolution.

    • Laura S. van Bezouwen
    • , Stefano Caffarri
    • , Ravindra S. Kale
    • , Roman Kouřil
    • , Andy-Mark W. H. Thunnissen
    • , Gert T. Oostergetel
    •  & Egbert J. Boekema
    Nature Plants 3, 17080
  • Research | | open

    Plastoquinone (PLQ) shuttles electrons between photosystem II (PSII) and cytochrome b6f. Here the authors perform molecular dynamics simulations and propose that PLQ enters the exchange cavity of PSII by a promiscuous diffusion mechanism whereby three different channels each act as entry and exit points.

    • Floris J. Van Eerden
    • , Manuel N. Melo
    • , Pim W. J. M. Frederix
    • , Xavier Periole
    •  & Siewert J. Marrink
  • Research | | open

    Devices that harness electron flow from photosynthetic organisms generally compromise host photosynthesis. Here, the authors show that, by redesigning the QA site of Photosystem II, it is possible to reroute electrons to an exogenous quinone while maintaining endogenous photosynthetic electron transfer in a green alga.

    • Han-Yi Fu
    • , Daniel Picot
    • , Yves Choquet
    • , Guillaume Longatte
    • , Adnan Sayegh
    • , Jérôme Delacotte
    • , Manon Guille-Collignon
    • , Frédéric Lemaître
    • , Fabrice Rappaport
    •  & Francis-André Wollman
  • Research |

    Plants protect their photosynthetic apparatus from excess light energy through non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). This study shows that NPQ is catalysed by two independent mechanisms, only one of which is dependent on lutein.

    • Luca Dall'Osto
    • , Stefano Cazzaniga
    • , Mauro Bressan
    • , David Paleček
    • , Karel Židek
    • , Krishna K. Niyogi
    • , Graham R. Fleming
    • , Donatas Zigmantas
    •  & Roberto Bassi
    Nature Plants 3, 17033

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Photosynthesis in C3 plants is limited by the kinetics of the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco. Natural variation in Rubisco can be exploited to provide new avenues for adapting photosynthetic performance to a changing climate while reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture.

    • Rowan F. Sage
    Nature Plants 2, 16192
  • News and Views |

    The specialized photosynthesis adopted by drought-resilient crassulacean acid metabolism plants has inverted the diel stomatal opening behaviour of their ancestral C3 plants. This was achieved via large-scale reprogramming of expression of the signal transduction machinery and a coordinate shift in the cellular redox poise.

    • Alisdair R. Fernie
    Nature Plants 2, 16190
  • News and Views |

    A recent survey of transcript abundance in wheat grains found accumulation of mRNAs encoding key enzymes of C4 photosynthesis. However, this is not the same as showing that the C4 pathway operates in these tissues.

    • Julian M. Hibberd
    •  & Robert T. Furbank
    Nature Plants 2, 16172
  • News and Views |

    The core of the photosynthetic complex photosystem I had been assumed to require contact with its associated light-harvesting complex I to function. But a mutant Arabidopsis line lacking the components of this complex shows that a plant's photosynthetic apparatus is more adaptable to changes in its environment than previously thought.

    • Dario Leister
    Nature Plants 2, 16135
  • Correspondence |

    • Nicholas K. Sauter
    • , Nathaniel Echols
    • , Paul D. Adams
    • , Petrus H. Zwart
    • , Jan Kern
    • , Aaron S. Brewster
    • , Sergey Koroidov
    • , Roberto Alonso-Mori
    • , Athina Zouni
    • , Johannes Messinger
    • , Uwe Bergmann
    • , Junko Yano
    •  & Vittal K. Yachandra
    Nature 533, E1–E2