Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bacteria Pull Off Photosynthesis sans Sunlight

Scientists have found a photosynthetic bacterium that doesn't live off the light of the sun. Instead, it uses the dim light given off by hydrothermal vents some 2,400 meters below the ocean's surface.

The bacteria have a sophisticated antenna system that allows them to collect the low light emanating from hydrothermal vents, the researchers explain in a report published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This light energy is then transferred to the organism's reaction center, where photosynthesis takes place. "This shows that photosynthesis is something that is not limited only to the very surface of our planet," Blankenship says. "It lets you consider other places where you might find photosynthesis on Earth as well as on other planets."
I love these little bacterias hanging out in the hydrothermal vents. Photosynthesis in the bottom of the ocean. Who would have thunk? Makes you wonder once again if this is where life began.

Via Scientific American

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.