photosynthesis

Oscillator

Tag archives for photosynthesis

Symbiosis is everywhere. From the Greek for “living with,” symbiosis is simply a close association between two different species in nature. These relationships can be mutualistic, parasitic, or somewhere in between. Bacterial symbionts live inside bodies, like the bacteria that help us and other animals digest our food, and they live inside cells, like the…

Carboxysomes in a row

Carboxysomes are small compartments inside photosynthetic bacteria where the machinery for capturing carbon dioxide is concentrated. You can see carboxysomes and their characteristic virus-like shape when you look at slices of these bacteria under an electron microscope: Until recently, no one had looked at carboxysomes under the microscope in cells that were still alive. My…

Bacterial “Organelles”

Animal cells are made up of many smaller membrane-bound compartments called organelles that perform highly specialized functions necessary for life. Incredibly, several of these organelles have been shown to be evolutionarily related to free-living bacteria, captured and incorporated inside a larger cell billions of years ago in a complex mutually beneficial relationship, known as endosymbiosis…

Solar Powered Leaves That Crawl

I am kind of obsessed with symbiosis and the idea that cooperation between different species can be a driver of evolutionary change. I learned about these symbiotic green sea slugs a while back from a colleague whose mom is a zoologist who studies the evolution of symbiosis between invertebrates and photosynthetic microorganisms. A review article…