Photosynthesis in Action

Photosynthesis in Action

Harvesting Light, Generating Electrons, Fixing Carbon

1st Edition - January 12, 2022

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  • Editors: Alexander Ruban, Christine Foyer, Erik Murchie
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128237823
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128237816

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Photosynthesis in Action examines the molecular mechanisms, adaptations and improvements of photosynthesis. With a strong focus on the latest research and advances, the book also analyzes the impact the process has on the biosphere and the effect of global climate change. Fundamental topics such as harvesting light, the transport of electronics and fixing carbon are discussed. The book also reviews the latest research on how abiotic stresses affect these key processes as well as how to improve each of them. This title explains how the process is flexible in adaptations and how it can be engineered to be made more effective. End users will be able to see the significance and potential of the processes of photosynthesis. Edited by renowned experts with leading contributors, this is an essential read for students and researchers interested in photosynthesis, plant science, plant physiology and climate change.

Key Features

  • Provides essential information on the complex sequence of photosynthetic energy transduction and carbon fixation
  • Covers fundamental concepts and the latest advances in research, as well as real-world case studies
  • Offers the mechanisms of the main steps of photosynthesis together with how to make improvements in these steps
  • Edited by renowned experts in the field
  • Presents a user-friendly layout, with templated elements throughout to highlight key learnings in each chapter


Researchers and students interested in photosynthesis, plant science and climate change

Table of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • References
  • Part I: Principles
  • Chapter 1: Harvesting light
  • Abstract
  • 1: Introduction, what is light harvesting and why is it needed?
  • 2: The concepts of light-harvesting capacity and efficiency
  • 3: Solar spectrum and its coverage by photosynthetic pigments
  • 4: Light-harvesting complexes, a few examples
  • 5: Pigment properties in more detail: Absorption shifts and broadening
  • 6: Pigment properties in more detail: Decay of the excited states
  • 7: Excitation energy transfer, the Förster equation
  • 8: Excitation energy transfer, beyond the Förster equation
  • 9: Overall trapping in photosynthetic units
  • 10: Summary: The ideal antenna system—The role of the protein
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Chapter 2: Transport of electrons
  • Abstract
  • 1: General principles of photosynthetic conversion of light energy
  • 2: Linear electron transport
  • 3: Cyclic electron transport
  • 4: The protein complexes involved in electron transport and ATP synthesis
  • Chapter 3: Carbon fixation
  • Abstract
  • 1: Introduction
  • 2: Diffusion of CO2 from the atmosphere into the leaf
  • 3: Diffusion of CO2 inside the leaf
  • 4: Carbon fixation pathways
  • 5: Conclusion
  • References
  • Part II: Adaptations
  • Chapter 4: Abiotic stress and adaptation in light harvesting
  • Abstract
  • 1: Introduction: Why photosynthetic organisms adapt to environmental light?
  • 2: Nonphotochemical quenching
  • 3: State transitions
  • References
  • Chapter 5: Abiotic stress and adaptation of electron transport: Regulation of the production and processing of ROS signals in chloroplasts
  • Abstract
  • 1: Introduction
  • 2: Redox reactions and the photosynthetic electron transport chain
  • 3: ROS production in the chloroplast stroma
  • 4: Lipid phase ROS production
  • 5: Lumen side ROS reduction
  • 6: Thioredoxin-dependent control of photosynthetic electron transport
  • 7: ROS as chloroplast signals
  • 8: Regulation of 1O2 production and signalling
  • 9: Conclusions and perspectives
  • References
  • Chapter 6: Abiotic stress, acclimation, and adaptation in carbon fixation processes
  • Abstract
  • 1: Introduction
  • 2: The CBC under stress
  • 3: CO2 uptake by leaves under stress
  • 4: Changing environments and acclimation
  • 5: Agriculture and productivity
  • 6: Summary
  • References
  • Part III: Action
  • Chapter 7: Improving light harvesting
  • Abstract
  • 1: Functional architecture and molecular physiology of light harvesting in plants and green algae
  • 2: Biological constraints in light-use efficiency
  • 3: Targets for improved light harvesting: The ‘cooperative interaction’ concept
  • 4: Optimisation of light harvesting in plants through genetic engineering
  • 5: Engineering of the light-harvesting system in green algae
  • 6: Concluding remarks
  • References
  • Chapter 8: Improving the transport of electrons
  • Abstract
  • 1: Layout of photosynthetic electron transport chains in plants and cyanobacteria
  • 2: Time-scales, length-scales, and constraints in electron transport
  • 3: Factors that determine where electrons go
  • 4: Ways to manipulate electron transport
  • 5: How much can electron transport be ‘improved’?
  • References
  • Chapter 9: Improving carbon fixation
  • Abstract
  • 1: Introduction
  • 2: Improving carbon fixation by manipulation carboxylation (rubisco)
  • 3: Improving carbon fixation by concentrating CO2 in leaf chloroplasts
  • 4: Re-engineer the photorespiratory pathway using nonnative genes and alternative metabolic pathways
  • 5: Identifying enzymes, other than rubisco that limit photosynthetic carbon fixation
  • 6: Evidence that transgenic manipulation of RuBP regeneration can increase CO2 fixation
  • 7: Evidence that transgenic multiple target manipulation of photosynthesis could result in a cumulative increase in yield
  • 8: Increasing photorespiratory activity increases biomass yield
  • 9: Combining overexpression of the glycine decarboxylase H subunit and CB cycle enzymes
  • 10: Unexpected outcomes
  • 11: Future prospects and conclusion
  • References
  • Part IV: Synthesis
  • Chapter 10: Integrating the stages of photosynthesis
  • Abstract
  • 1: The integration of processes in photosynthesis under steady state conditions
  • 2: Photosynthetic responses to fluctuations in irradiance
  • 3: Modelling leaf photosynthesis as a system
  • 4: Conclusions
  • References
  • Chapter 11: Photosynthesis in action: The global view
  • Abstract
  • 1: The past—Role of photosynthesis for co-evolution of life and earth
  • 2: Present—Reversal of long-term natural carbon capture
  • 3: Future of the earth system—Modelling approaches, predictions of ongoing and future changes, and comparison with observations
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 290
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: January 12, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128237823
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128237816

About the Editors

Alexander Ruban

Dr Alexander Ruban is a Professor in Biophysics at the Queen Mary University of London, UK. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of light energy utilisation and management in the photosynthetic membrane. The major goal of his lab is to understand how biological matter is designed to conduct a variety of intimate physical processes accompanying photosynthetic energy conversion and how structural properties of the photosynthetic light harvesting proteins govern flexibility and efficiency of photosynthesis. Recent advances of Professor Ruban's research include a discovery of the photoprotective molecular switch in the photosystem 2 antenna and establishment of the great plasticity in the light harvesting antenna design of higher plants. He has an impressive research and publication record and his expertise in plant physiology, biophysics and biochemistry make him uniquely suited to act as lead editor on this foundational, comprehensive title.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor in Biophysics, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Christine Foyer

Dr Christine Foyer is a Professor of Plant Science at the University of Leeds, UK. With over 400 published papers and 30,000 citations, Dr Foyer’s research is widely renowned within plant science. She is President Elect of the Association of Applied Biologists, the General Secretary of the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biologists, an elected Board Member of the American Society of Plant Biologists and a Member of the French Academy of Agriculture. She will soon take up the role of Editor in Chief of Food and Energy Security. She is also a senior Editor for Plant, Cell and Environment and an Associate Editor for the Biochemical Journal, The Journal of Experimental Biology and Physiologia Plantarum. The Foyer lab uses multidisciplinary approaches incorporating -omics technologies, molecular and biochemical techniques and whole plant physiology. Her expertise in the latest technology will bridge the gap between research and practice for students and advanced researchers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Plant Science, University of Leeds, UK

Erik Murchie

Dr Erik Murchie is a Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Nottingham, UK. His research interests include photosynthesis in crop plants, particularly the regulation of photosynthesis in response to environmental factors. His research lab examines the fundamental processes in crop plants such as light harvesting, carbon assimilation and energy dissipation, but also works with novel agricultural systems such as those which are making use of novel lighting technology in horticulture. Dr Murchie brings a wealth of foundational knowledge but also real-world examples of novel innovations in photosynthesis, something that both students and advanced researchers would find highly valuable in a modern foundational title on photosynthesis.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Plant Physiology, University of Nottingham, UK

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