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

News and Comment

  • 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 |

    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 |

    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