A New Photosynthesis Mechanism

We have learnt about the mechanism of photosynthesis in our school days. Therefore, we are also aware of the two types of chlorophyll required during photosynthesis—chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. However, scientists from Imperial College, London, have recently discovered another type of photosynthesis that takes place in the presence of chlorophyll f. Generally, all plants carry out photosynthesis in the presence of chlorophyll a (within the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum). This type of photosynthesis takes place beyond the visible range; in fact in the range of the infrared spectrum of light. It is generally observed in the cyanobacteria Acaryochloris. One important limitation is that this process of photosynthesis needs to be carried out in such a way that the infrared rays do not end up harming the plants under investigation inside the lab. This new finding is likely to change the concept of energy requirement during photosynthesis as well as the associated content in the biology textbooks.

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