Plants: how they optimize photosynthesis


Photosynthesis is needed by plants to grow, they use the energy of sunlight to release oxygen and produce carbohydratesThey have to respond to changing light conditions though because they can’t move. In fact, in case of too much sunlight, there is a risk that this is harmful to plants and photosynthesis. The researchers looked at the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for their study.


The study focused on two proteins called VCCN1 and KEA3 that have a key function in regulating photosynthesis. The VCCN1 activates the sun protection if the light suddenly becomes too bright. When the light decreases, the second protein KEA3 breaks down the sunscreen to give the plant more light back. A comparison was made between photosynthesis in combination with plants whose genes for VCCN1 and KEA3 were turned off. 

The activities of the VCCN1 and KEA3 proteins depend on the light conditions in which the plants were grown. The study focused on two light factors associated with growth in the analysis. Both the amount of light a plant receives and the frequency of the light fluctuations greatly affect the two proteins, ion transporters. 

Plants need sun protection . When light conditions change abruptly, plants produce zeaxanthin, an orange pigment involved in sun protection. The latter is suppressed by KEA3 even in high light conditions.


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