Marine Biology

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 261–265 | Cite as

Kinetic evidence for common photosynthetic step in diverse seaweeds

  • M. Mishkind
  • D. Mauzerall


The turnover time of photosynthetic oxygen production was the same, near 0.5 msec, for the seaweeds Ulva lactuca, Codium fragile, Porphyryaumbilicalis, Chondrus crispus, Champia parvula and Fucus vesiculosis. This turnover time did not change for sun- and shade-adapted U. lactuca and P. umbilicalis. The similarity of these turnover times to those of other algae, higher plants, and cyanobacteria is strong evidence for similarity in the kinetics, and thus for a universal mechanism of photosynthesis. Evolution in the light-gathering apparatus responsible for the color of seaweeds has occurred without variation in the mechanism of photosynthesis. The size of the Emerson-Arnold photosynthetic unit (the ratio of chlorophyll to oxygen formed in a single tumover light flash) in the green seaweeds is about the same as that in algae, i.e., 2000. It is about half this number for the red and brown seaweeds. The different accessory pigments in the latter two groups compensate for the smaller amount of chlorophyll. The size of the unit was independent of sun- and shade-adaptation in U. lactuca, but did increase in shade-adapted P. umbilicalis.


Oxygen Color Chlorophyll Photosynthesis Strong Evidence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Mishkind
    • 1
  • D. Mauzerall
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biological LaboratoryWoods HoleUSA

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