Photosynthesis is a fascinating process that scientists have been studying for centuries. For hundreds of millions of years, photosynthetic plants, algae and bacteria have been converting inorganic matter to organic matter thanks to the energy of the sun, making life possible for ecosystems.
It is a very complex process and until now scientists have not unraveled all its details. In this research, the team has created a photosynthetic model that allows us to understand why almost all plants are green, as well as the other organisms that practice photosynthesis.
Most of the known plants on our planet are green. According to textbooks, this characteristic is due to the chlorophyll pigment, which is a biomolecule with an essential role in the process of photosynthesis. The team has gone one step further, and their research, published in the journal Science, reveals that the green color of vegetables is due to the way they transform the sun’s energy into chemical energy.
In photosynthesis, plants and other organisms use sunlight to synthesize food from carbon dioxide and water. These scientists, led by physicist Nathaniel M. Gabor of the University of California, Riverside (United States), have built a model that reproduces the process of absorption of sunlight observed in photosynthetic organisms.
The model describes a simple grid that absorbs only two different colors of light from across the spectrum and generates a constant rate of solar energy. This choice of taking only two-color light may seem unusual and a waste of energy, but in practice he proves to be very intelligent.
“Our model shows that by absorbing only very specific colors, photosynthetic organisms can automatically protect themselves against sudden changes – or noise – from solar energy, resulting in remarkably efficient energy conversion.”Gabor said in a statement.
What the team explains in their study is that plants reject green light because it is the most intense sunlightSo this is a tactic to avoid damage from overexposure to the sun. By repelling light of this color, organisms reflect it, which is why most plants are green.
“In the process of photosynthesis, it is clear that protecting the organism from overexposure is the factor that drives the successful production of energy, and this is the inspiration we use to develop our model”, Gabor concludes.