Ancient Origin of Photosynthesis Gives Hint About Strange Bacteria

Ancient Origin of Photosynthesis Gives Hint About Strange Bacteria


Photosynthesis refers to a natural phenomenon in which a combination of sunlight and chemical reactions results in the formation of glucose. There are two types of photosynthesis, i.e., anoxygenic and oxygenic. Scientists theorize first occurred anoxygenic one followed by the oxygenic. It has taken a billion years for the development of oxygenic photosynthesis. In this case, the process is accountable for splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen into algae, some bacteria, and plants. While in the case of the anoxygenic process, bacteria do not use water. They only use molecules and do not release water. In oxygenic one, oxygen is a byproduct of the process.

The researchers from the Imperial College of London have found new bacteria which are similar to the current bacteria, that plays a crucial role in photosynthesis. The comparison of the structure of this new bacteria with present cyanobacteria has resulted in positive outcomes. Well, you will find these cyanobacteria probably in soils and waterlogged fields in the hot springs, which perform oxygenic photosynthesis. According to a paper published in the journal Trends in Plant Science, the Cyanobacteria and new bacteria have a common setting that divides water during the process of photosynthesis. The site marks crucial importance as it is the first step of oxygenic photosynthesis. Besides, the similar structure of the rare bacteria is the same as those who power the process in plants currently. In other words, the process is more ancient than scientist think.

There are many research studies available about photosynthesis evolution. Still, many of them do not have actual data source support. This latest research is expected to provide more details about photosynthesis and the production of oxygen. The entire study may change traditional concepts of the evolution of photosynthesis. The newly-observed structure of bacteria also suggests that it is present from old ages. Thus scientists surmise the development of oxygenic photosynthesis took place shortly after anoxygenic photosynthesis.

The name of that bacteria that researchers from Imperial College of London have found is Heliobacterium modesticaldum. These bacteria, having the same ancestor as cyanobacteria had billion years ago, are very rare to find. Dr. Tanai Cardona, leading author of the study, notes they have started to see the process of photosynthesis closely. As per Tanai, the outcomes might assist in detailing the evolution of the system liable for oxygen generation and photosynthesis.