Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paper published in PNAS

A new paper published in PNAS this week provides evidence for chloroplast pyrenoid formation in the green alga Chlamydamonas. The pyrenoid, once thought to be a starch-storage granule, is now recognized to be the centre of a carbon concentrating mechanism which turbocharges photosynthesis.

Moritz Meyer, Maddie Mitchell and Howard Griffiths, in collaboration with colleagues in UNL Nebraska, have shown that modifications to the primary carboxylase, Rubisco, are responsible for pyrenoid formation. Specifically, it seems that two regions of the small subunit, the alpha helices, interact to allow Rubisco to aggregate into the pyrenoid, which also regulates CCM activity.

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