Donnerstag, 19. August 2010

Red is the New Green

Scientific America reports:

Researchers may have found a new form of chlorophyll, the pigment that plants, algae
and cyanobacteria use to obtain energy from light through photosynthesis.
Preliminary findings published August 19 in Science suggest that the newly
discovered molecule, dubbed chlorophyll f, has a distinct chemical composition
when compared with the four known forms of chlorophyll and can absorb more
near-infrared light than is typical for the photosynthetic pigments. Chlorophyll
f, which was extracted from cultures of cyanobacteria and other oxygenic
microorganisms, may allow certain photosynthetic life forms to harvest energy
from wavelengths of light that many of their competitors cannot use.
"This is
the most red-shifted chlorophyll we have found in nature," says Min
, a biologist at The University of Sydney in Australia and lead author
of the study. "That means that organisms that have this chlorophyll inside can
extend their photosynthetic range for maximum use of solar energy."

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