Red algae, in contrast, use a slightly different mechanism and are thus more productive. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried near Munich have now identified a so far unknown helper protein for photosynthesis in red algae. “We could elucidate its structure and its intriguing mechanism,” says Manajit Hayer-Hartl, MPIB group leader. “Comparing its mechanism to the one in green plants could help to design more efficient plants.” Their work has led to two recent publications in Nature and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
The helper protein (blue) pulls at one end of Rubisco (multicolored) and thus, releases the sugar. The blockade is lifted. Graphic: Manajit Hayer-Hartl / Copyright: Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Green plants, algae and plankton metabolize carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into oxygen and sugar in the presence of light. Without this process called photosynthesis, today’s life on earth would not be possible. The key protein of this process, called Rubisco, is thus one of the most important proteins in nature. It bonds with carbon dioxide and starts its conversion into sugar and oxygen.
„Despite its fundamental importance, Rubisco is an enzyme fraught with shortcomings“, says Manajit Hayer-Hartl, head of the Research Group “Chaperonin-assisted Protein Folding” at the MPIB. One of the problems is that Rubisco binds to wrong sugar molecules that inhibit its activity. The inhibitors have to be removed by a special helper protein, called Rubisco activase. The Max Planck scientists now discovered that during evolution two different Rubisco activases developed in plants and in red algae. They differ in structure and in their working mechanism.
M. Stotz, O. Mueller-Cajar, S. Ciniawsky, P. Wendler, F. U. Hartl, A. Bracher & M. Hayer-Hartl: Structure of green-type Rubisco activase from tobacco. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, November 6, 2011Contact:
‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy