Latest C3 carbon fixation Stories
If you eat bread stuffing or grain-fed turkey this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the grasses — a family of plants that includes wheat, oats, corn and rice.
"I have a slide that has a photo of a cornfield and a big photovoltaic array," says Robert Blankenship, a scientist who studies photosynthesis at Washington University in St. Louis.
According to a popular hypothesis, grasses such as maize, sugar cane, millet and sorghum got their evolutionary start as a result of a steep drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the Oligocene epoch, more than 23 million years ago.
A new analysis of fossilized grass-pollen grains deposited on ancient European lake and sea bottoms 16-35 million years ago reveals that C4 grasses evolved earlier than previously thought.
Research published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society shows that cheatgrass biochemistry is better suited to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations than soybean biochemistry.
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