Published: June 5, 2020

New research to quantify cyanobacteria assimilate carbon in photosyntheiss

Contact(s): Igor Houwat MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory office: (517) 353-2223, Brandon Rohnke College of Natural Science

MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory scientists have established a new method to quantify how much cyanobacteria assimilate carbon in the process of photosynthesis, in real time. The study is published in mBio.

Photosynthesis captures energy from sunlight in order to make carbohydrates, energy compounds that power life on Earth. The key ingredient in those compounds is carbon. That is why measuring how much carbon cyanobacteria assimilate is a good indicator of how productive they are.

The new method can assess carbon assimilation over a stretch of time. It also better factors in a wider range of environmental variables. Such variables include changing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels or varying light intensities.

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Figure to describe the methodology of the filtered-disc method for cyanobacteria. The disc collected at the end can be inserted in a gas-exchange chamber for carbon response curve analysis