Tuesday, October 31, 2023. 11:00 AM. Carboxylation chemistry and biology: Adaptation of plants to extreme CO2 sources in Yellowstone NP. Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis, TU Delft. Sponsored by Rutgers Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. More information here.
Abstract: Carboxylation reactions are those which combine CO2 with something else to make a useful natural or a synthetic chemical product. They are vital to our ecosystems, to agriculture, the chemical industry, and the health of our planet. The chemistry of carboxylation is a cornerstone reaction of life itself that has evolved over 3 billion years. After presenting a brief tutorial on biological carboxylation chemistry, we will take you into the field to one of Nature’s laboratories of evolution to ask this question. Can plants adapt to 12x ambient CO2 levels found near travertine springs in Yellowstone? In principle, high CO2 levels can improve the carboxylation efficiency of the RuBisCO enzyme by competing with photorespiration (displacement of O2) and by making more of the essential reductant and ATP. But only if the production steps in the photosynthetic light reactions can be tuned to match the dark carboxylation reactions will this strategy work. At higher levels, CO2 is also a poison to plants if not consumed. Perfect harmony requires that you use it or lose it. What is the net outcome for plants in Yellowstone living on the edge, survival or death? We will look at three important steps in photosynthetic electron transport to see how plants adapt to long-term exposure to extreme CO2 levels.
Location: CCB Auditorium (Room 1303)