Photosynthesis: Carbon Metabolism from DNA to Deoxyribose

  • Grahame J. Kelly
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 62)


Life, like the Calvin cycle, is a revolution that returns to its beginning. Even photosynthetic carbon metabolism is a part of this revolving life. Traditionally, photosynthesis is seen as life’s energy transducer, whereby solar light energy is collected and changed into the potential energy in the covalent bonds of sugar molecules. Indeed, the fate of a large proportion of these sugar molecules is respiration so that this energy can become available to non-photosynthetic cells or to photosynthetic cells in darkness. However, a small fraction of these sugars are metabolized to form the monomers (including deoxyribose; Debnam and Ernes 1999) that are linked to make the new DNA of newly emerging photosynthetic cells. This DNA will be transcribed to initiate the synthesis of the Calvin-cycle enzymes in these cells so that they too can contribute to the conversion of CO2 to more sugars and, ultimately, more DNA. We should reflect on the photosynthesis-DNA link because, as the above quote indicates, we can expect to be able to view the entire nucleotide sequences of the five chromosomes of the small, photosynthetic, flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana within the next year or two. We will also be able to determine the position (or positions) on these chromosomes where each of the 11 enzymes of the Calvin cycle are encoded.


Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Calvin Cycle Plant Cell Environ Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate Rubisco Activase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grahame J. Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Molecular Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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