Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 117, Issue 1–3, pp 121–131 | Cite as

Photorespiration and carbon concentrating mechanisms: two adaptations to high O2, low CO2 conditions

  • James V. MoroneyEmail author
  • Nadine Jungnick
  • Robert J. DiMario
  • David J. Longstreth


This review presents an overview of the two ways that cyanobacteria, algae, and plants have adapted to high O2 and low CO2 concentrations in the environment. First, the process of photorespiration enables photosynthetic organisms to recycle phosphoglycolate formed by the oxygenase reaction catalyzed by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). Second, there are a number of carbon concentrating mechanisms that increase the CO2 concentration around Rubisco which increases the carboxylase reaction enhancing CO2 fixation. This review also presents possibilities for the beneficial modification of these processes with the goal of improving future crop yields.


Calvin–Benson–Bassham cycle Carbon concentrating mechanism Carbonic anhydrase Cyanobacteria Photorespiration Rubisco 



Carbonic anhydrase

CBB cycle

Calvin–Benson–Bassham cycle


Carbon (dioxide) concentrating mechanism




Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • James V. Moroney
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nadine Jungnick
    • 1
  • Robert J. DiMario
    • 1
  • David J. Longstreth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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