Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovering the secret code behind photosynthesis

26.02.2009
Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have discovered that an ancient system of communication found in primitive bacteria, may also explain how plants and algae control the process of photosynthesis.

Two-component signal transduction systems (TCSTs) have long been recognised as the main way in which bacteria coordinate their responses to changes in their environment. But recent research has shown that these 'bacterial' two-component systems have also survived in plants and algae, as a way of sending signals within their cells.

These systems, which are thought to have evolved from ancient cyanobacteria, are found in chloroplasts - the part of a cell of a plant which conducts photosynthesis, converting light to chemical energy.

Writing in the Royal Society journal Proceedings of the Royal Society:B, Dr Sujith Puthiyaveetil and Professor John F Allen from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences report that these two-component systems have played a fundamental role in linking the process of photosynthesis with gene expression, thereby determining the way that all plants adapt to changing environments.

Dr Puthiyaveetil explains: "We already know that two-component systems act as a type of on/off switch for genes in bacteria. But the survival of these bacterial-type on/off switches in chloroplasts suggests a new model for gene regulation in plants."

Professor Allen adds: "To many, it will be shock to learn that some messages are sent within plant cells - and, probably, animal cells - using the same telegraph system as the one found in 'primitive' bacteria. It would be like discovering Morse code in your computer network, or a wax cylinder at the heart of your new, shiny digital HiFi. To us, however, the discovery is exciting evidence for an unorthodox theory of cell evolution first published sixteen years ago in the Journal of Theoretical Biology."

Sian Halkyard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qmul.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>