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Photosynthesis: The Emergence and Early Evolution of Biological Carbon-Fixation.

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Introduction

As the world’s population increases, availing adequate food for the population will be a challenge due to need to improve crop cultivation, production of fertilizer, and agricultural yields (Berg et al, 2010). However, carbon fixation is an essential limitation that affects crop yields because plants rely on converting carbon (IV) oxide into biologically functional molecules (Berg et al, 2010). Through various carbon fixation pathways, green plants, algae, and certain bacteria are able to convert inorganic carbon into organic compounds useful to all living organisms on earth (Aresta and Wiley, 2010).

Hypothesis

Photosynthesis is the main means green plants use to fix carbon dioxide in the environment, but it is unfortunate that it seldom suffices the carbon needs of living organisms.

Results and Evidence

However, scholars have discovered various pathways of carbon fixation in green plants, and intensified scientific research on bacteria and other living organisms. Since carbon fixation also occurs in certain bacteria and archaea, several experiments were conducted to establish a practical biological progression of carbon fixation, which led to discovery of Acetyl-CoA pathway (Lengeler, Drews and Schlegel, 1999). This is a pathway common among bacteria and archaea, and in this non-cyclic pathway, hydrogen is utilized as an electron donor while carbon dioxide remains an electron receiver (Lengeler, Drews and Schlegel, 1999). When carbon dioxide receives an electron, it is reduced to carbon monoxide and finally to acetyl-CoA (Aresta and Wiley, 2010). This process is catalyzed by two enzymes CO Dehydrogenese and acetyl-CoA synthase with the former converting carbon dioxide to CO while the latter combining CO with m...

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