Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Conversion of Carbon-14 Dioxide to Starch Glucose during Photosynthesis by Spinach Chloroplasts


THE distribution of carbon-14 in the glucose moiety of sucrose, glucose phosphate and starch formed from carbon-14 dioxide during short-time photosynthesis in Chlorella and the leaves of higher plants has been shown to be asymmetric1. It was proposed that either glucose was not formed by the condensation of two triose phosphates of similar tracer distribution or that a pool of unlabelled dihydroxyacetone phosphate was present in the cell, causing a dilution of the upper three carbon atoms of the hexose. To test the validity of the latter suggestion, the intact spinach chloroplast free of much cytoplasic material was employed.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Gibbs, M., and Kandler, O., Proc. U.S. Nat. Acad. Sci., 43, 446 (1957).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Allen, M. B., Arnon, D. I., Capindale, J. B., Whatley, F. R., and Durham, L. J., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 77, 4149 (1955).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Gunsalus, I. C., and Gibbs, M., J. Biol. Chem., 194, 871 (1952).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

GIBBS, M., CYNKIN, M. Conversion of Carbon-14 Dioxide to Starch Glucose during Photosynthesis by Spinach Chloroplasts. Nature 182, 1241–1242 (1958).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing