The Interaction of Respiration and Photosynthesis in Microalgae

  • E. H. Evans
  • N. G. Carr
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 6)


For the purposes of this article we shall consider that group of micro-organisms that are capable of oxygenic photosynthesis, thus encompassing examples of eukaryotic red and green algae as well as prokaryotic blue-green algae. The relationship between respiration and photosynthesis in these organisms can be considered to be the interaction between light and dark growth and is therefore closely related to the potential for photoautotrophy, photoheterotrophy and heterotrophy exhibited by each alga. The difference in cellular arrangement of respiratory and photosynthetic apparatus between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is central to understanding the interaction of these processes in different organisms. The separation, in all eukaryotes, of the two processes into distinct organelles (mitochondria and chloroplasts) is without parallel in prokaryotes. These do not possess specialised organelles, and photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport must occur in close juxtaposition to each other, possibly on the same membrane. The best characterised prokaryotes in this respect are the Athiorhodaceae, which photosynthesise using hydrogen or organic substrates as reductant.


Photo System Photosynthetic Electron Transport Photosynthetic Electron Transport Chain Anabaena Variabilis Respiratory Electron Transport 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin·Heidelberg 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. H. Evans
  • N. G. Carr

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