Path of Carbon in Photosynthesis III

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Although the overall reaction of photosynthesis can be specified with some degree of certainty (CO{sub 2} + H{sub 2}O + light {yields} sugars + possibly other reduced substances), the intermediates through which the carbon passes during the course of this reduction have, until now, been largely a matter of conjecture. The availability of isotopic carbon, that is, a method of labeling the carbon dioxide, provides the possibility of some very direct experiments designed to recognize these intermediates and, perhaps, help to understand the complex sequence and interplay of reactions which must constitute the photochemical process itself. The general design of ... continued below

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Benson, A.A. & Calvin, M. June 1, 1948.

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Description

Although the overall reaction of photosynthesis can be specified with some degree of certainty (CO{sub 2} + H{sub 2}O + light {yields} sugars + possibly other reduced substances), the intermediates through which the carbon passes during the course of this reduction have, until now, been largely a matter of conjecture. The availability of isotopic carbon, that is, a method of labeling the carbon dioxide, provides the possibility of some very direct experiments designed to recognize these intermediates and, perhaps, help to understand the complex sequence and interplay of reactions which must constitute the photochemical process itself. The general design of such experiments is an obvious one, namely the exposure of the green plant to radioactive carbon dioxide and light under a variety of conditions and for continually decreasing lengths of time, followed by the identification of the compounds into which the radioactive carbon is incorporated under each condition and time period. From such data it is clear that in principle, at least, it should be possible to establish the sequence of compounds in time through which the carbon passes on its path from carbon dioxide to the final products. In the course of shortening the photosynthetic times, one times, one ultimately arrives at the condition of exposing the plants to the radioactive carbon dioxide with a zero illumination time, that is, in the dark. Actually, in the work the systematic order of events was reversed, and they have begun by studying first the dark fixation and then the shorter photosynthetic times. The results of the beginnings of this sort of a systematic investigation are given in Table I which includes three sets of experiments, namely a dark fixation experiment and two photosynthetic experiments, one of 30 seconds duration and the other of 60 seconds duration.

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  • Report No.: UCRL--133
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/928029 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928029
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc899054

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 1, 1948

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 8:18 p.m.

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Benson, A.A. & Calvin, M. Path of Carbon in Photosynthesis III, report, June 1, 1948; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc899054/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.