Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 131–135 | Cite as

Andrew A. Benson, 1917–2015

  • Hartmut K. LichtenthalerEmail author
  • Bob B. Buchanan
  • Roland Douce
  • Govindjee


On January 16, 2015, Professor Andrew Alm Benson, one of the leading plant biochemists of the twentieth century, died in La Jolla, California, at the age of 97; he was born on September 24, 1917. Benson was known especially for his pioneering studies on photosynthesis (CO2 assimilation, carbon reduction cycle) and plant lipids (phospholipid phosphatidyl glycerol; and the sulfolipid, sulfoquinovosyl diglyceride). A photograph of Benson is shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1

Photograph of Andrew A. Benson. Source: Annual Review of Plant Biology, Vol. 53, 2002, published with permission


The path of carbon in photosynthesis Calvin–Benson cycle RuBP Rubisco Phosphoglycerate PGA Sulfolipid 



Phosphoglyceric acid


Ribulose bis-phosphate


Ribulose bis-phosphate carboxylase oxygenase



The black-and-white photograph of Professor Benson was reprinted with permission from the Annual Review of Plant Biology, Vol. 53, 2002 by Annual Reviews. The authors thank Arthur Nonomura for providing key information on Andrew Benson’s life and contributions made in the latter part of his career and his assistance in editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut K. Lichtenthaler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bob B. Buchanan
    • 2
  • Roland Douce
    • 3
  • Govindjee
    • 4
  1. 1.Botanical Institute 2 (Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Plants)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), University DivisionKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Department of Plant & Microbial BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Université de Grenoble and CEAGrenoble Cedex 9France
  4. 4.Department of Plant Biology, Department of Biochemistry, and Center of Biophysics & Quantitative BiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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