Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 129–143 | Cite as

Generation of oscillatory behavior in the Laisk model of photosynthetic carbon assimilation

  • P. Horton
  • H. Nicholson
Regular Papers


The metabolic pathways in photosynthesis are modelled as an interconnected series of chemical reactions representing the electron transfer system, the carbon reduction cycle and starch and sucrose synthesis according to the model of Laisk and Walker [Proc R Soc Lond 227, 281–302 (1986)]. The model is formulated as a set of non-linear differential equations using mass-action kinetics, and stimulated for transient behaviour using an interactive simulation language. The model responses to switched light demonstrate the existence of oscillatory behaviour, similar to that found experimentally in O2 evolution and chlorophyll fluorescence, and explain known transient behaviour. The model is also used to investigate the source of oscillatory behaviour in the phosphate translocator, and other transient phenomena associated with the cyclic electron transfer system.

Key words

mathematical model oscillations photosynthesis regulation of metabolism 







reduced plastocyanin


oxidised plastocyanin


ortho (inorganic) phosphate in chloroplasts


inorganic orthophosphate in cytosol


triose phosphate




ribulose bisphosphate


phosphoglyceric acid


hexose phosphate


hexose phosphate-total sugar phosphate in cytoplasm






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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Horton
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Nicholson
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Institute for PhotosynthesisUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Department of Control EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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