Photosynthesis in algae containing special pigments

  • F. T. Haxo
Part of the Handbuch der Pflanzenphysiologie / Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (532, volume 5)


In all algae chlorophyll is accompanied by supplementary pigments which may absorb an appreciable portion of the incident light. Brown, red and blue-green algae provide striking examples of this; so do some of the more rarely observed microscopic algae such as the cryptomonads. For the physiologist the presence of masking pigments has long posed pertinent questions concerning their possible role in photosynthesis. In the present discussion the current status of this problem is considered, with emphasis given to the more definitive investigations of recent years. The reader is referred to the following reviewers for more comprehensive treatments of individual aspects than is possible here: Rabinowitch (1945, 1951, 1952, 1956), Blinks (1954, 1955), Pirson (1955), Gessner (1955), French and Young (1956), Duysens (1956) and, most recently, Emerson (1958). Chemical and physical properties of the chlorophylls, carotenoids and phycobilins (biliproteins) are detailed in other chapters of this Volume.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1960

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  • F. T. Haxo

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