Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ISU researcher identifies protein that concentrates carbon dioxide in algae

14.04.2009
Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are a concern to many environmentalists who research global warming.

The lack of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, however, actually limits the growth of plants and their aquatic relatives, microalgae.

For plants and microalgae, CO2 is vital to growth. It fuels their photosynthesis process that, along with sunlight, manufactures sugars required for growth.

CO2 is present in such a limiting concentration that microalgae and some plants have evolved mechanisms to capture and concentrate CO2 in their cells to improve photosynthetic efficiency and increase growth.

An Iowa State University researcher has now identified one of the key proteins in the microalgae responsible for concentrating and moving that CO2 into cells.

"This is a real breakthrough," said Martin Spalding, professor and chair of the department of genetics, development and cell biology. "No one had previously identified any of the proteins that are involved in transporting CO2 in microalgae."

The main protein that Spalding and his team have identified that is responsible for transporting CO2 is called HLA3.

The research by Spalding; Deqiang Duanmu, a graduate student in Spalding's department; and Amy Miller, Kempton Horken and Donald Weeks, all from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; is published in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Now that the HLA3 protein has been identified, Spalding believes there are several possibilities to use the gene that encodes this protein.

The recent explosion of interest in using microalgae for production of biofuels raises the possibility of increasing photosynthesis and productivity in microalgae by increasing expression of HLA3 or other components of the CO2 concentrating mechanism, according to Spalding.

Since all plants need CO2 to thrive, introducing the HLA3 gene into plants that do not have the ability to concentrate CO2, could help those plants grow more rapidly.

Spalding says several plants would be candidates for the HLA3 protein.

"One of the things we've been working on is the prospect that we may be able to take components of the CO2 concentrating mechanism for microalgae, such as this HLA3, and put it into something like rice and improve photosynthesis for rice," said Spalding.

Rice and other commodity crops such as wheat and soybeans do not have any CO2 concentrating mechanism.

tin Spalding | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>