The metabolic mechanism for the initiation of photosynthesis elucidated

January 10, 2023

The research group of Kobe University and the RIKEN CSRS has revealed a mechanism for the smooth initiation of carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation via photosynthesis that works immediately after light irradiation starts in cyanobacteria.

The researchers quantified changes in metabolites on the second timescale when the Calvin cycle, through which CO2 is fixed during photosynthesis, is activated. Analyzing the resulting data of changes in the metabolite concentrations, they successfully visualized the metabolic flux at the onset of Calvin cycle activation. These results showed that the accumulation of glycolytic metabolites under dark conditions is essential for the quick activation of CO2 fixation metabolism.

These findings could further lead to creating cyanobacteria that can stably produce materials in natural environments, where light-dark changes occur over time.

Original article
Plant Physiology doi:10.1093/plphys/kiac602
K. Tanaka, T. Shirai, C. J Vavricka, M. Matsuda, A. Kondo, T. Hasunuma,
"Dark accumulation of downstream glycolytic intermediates initiates robust photosynthesis in cyanobacteria".
Tomokazu Shirai; Senior Scientist
Akihiko Kondo; Team Leader
Cell Factory Research Team