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Thread: Very interesting discovery

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    I just got word of a newly discovered organism that probably ranks among the most strange in the world.....

    A PHOTOSYNTHETIC organism that lives thousands of meters below the surface of the ocean, in the deep dark abyss where not one ray of sunlight penetrates!

    You may ask...."how is that possible?" Think about it for a bit then click on the link below to find the answer!

    Science news

    This is truely a testament to the resiliency and diversity of life on this planet!

    Perhaps one day a carnivorous plant will be found there too!
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Hum, this one slipped under the radar here and I haven't been checking my news lately... Anyhoo, thanks for the link. I suppose that in the big picture it makes sense: just fillin' the niche. Hydrothermal vents are the site of quite a few of chemosynthetic organisms, so I suppose this makes sense. Still quite neet though, thanks for sharing.
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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    And though it wasn't addressed in the press article or primary literature, a REALLY awesome horticultural application would be to introduce the gene(s) responsible for the light-absorbing molecule into a plant.

    The wavelength and intensity of light emitted by the vent is likely to be very different from typical sunlight, so introducing such a molecule into a plant's repetoire of light-capturing molecules may significantly increase it's adaptibility to low and poor quality light.

    One day this may enable people to grow CPs in very dim areas WITHOUT artificial lighting! Unbridled optimism....maybe. But stranger things have been done.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Chlorophyll can work with red and blue light. It doesn't do anything with green and actually wastes some of the blue taking it down to the lower energy red. According to the article, a small fraction of the spectrum emitted at the vent makes it into the red and that's what the photosynthetic bacteria are using. So that's no different from other photosynthetic organisms. There must be a number of other physiologic adaptations, but it doesn't sound like the photosynthetic mechanism is unique. I'll do a search later and see what mechanism the green sulfur bacteria use.

    I have photosynthetic mechanisms on my mind this morning. Now that we have hot weather, all the C4 weeds have suddenly run amok in the garden. I weeded from 6:30-9:00 this morning and C4 weeds like pigweed and purslane that were invisible two weeks ago are leaving my C3 garden plants in their dust. But the C4 corn is beginning to zoom too and the portulacas are suddenly spreading.
    Bruce in CT

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    It's too hot outside, so I'm inside killing time by reading about green sulfur bacteria. This link - http://www.tigr.org/new/press_release_7-1-2002.shtml - shows they do use a different system than other organisms.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    I'm willing to bet sunlight produces a much wider range of wavelenghts than the hydrothermic vents, and more intense too. The sun produces radio waves and gamma rays and everything in between. There are also plants that use different pigments to photosynthesize. While chlorophyll is green and uses other wavelenths of light, other pigments are red, yellow, brown, etc. and use other wavelenths of light... that's why some plants are totally red, yellow, etc. and why leaves turn those colors in autumn when chlorophyll is gone.
    I'm assuming that different pigments are better than others and that's why most plants are green...
    so I don't see why we would need the bacteria... there are plants now that can grow in lower light levels so why not use say a wintergreen gene and put it in CPs to make them grow in shade like wintergreen do?

    of course, If you have noticed, most shade plants are much darker green than full sun plants, and they grow slower... so the CPs would probably change their color and growing habits.... they'd be in a low nutrient medium AND low light levels... making them grow painfully slow.

    but of course, that's just my opinion :P
    nature is too complex to predict. It's kind of funny because I was discussing this in another forum. They kill the predators and I was asking them if it had any effect and why, when you consider the big picture, it MAY actually be worse... but like this, it's all speculation.
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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Plants have many pigments and use other wavelengths for various things. Read about the red/far-red and blue light systems here - http://sunflower.bio.indiana.edu/~rhanga....h1.html. If other wavelengths didn't matter, grow lights would be red. But the only pigment that actually photosynthesizes is chlorophyll, with the exception of what's in that green sulfur bacteria.

    What's cool about the red/far-red is that if you don't expose lettuce seeds to light, some will germinate. If you expose them to red light, almost all will germinate (assuming everything else is OK). If you expose them to far-red, you'll get almost no germination. If you expose them to red again, they'll all germinate. You can turn them on and off like a light switch by changing the light. It's a cool experiment every intro plant physiology class does.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    I asked a while ago about how totally red/yellow/etc plants photosynthesize if they're not green... they told me that other pigments also photosynthesized. how DO they photosynthesize then? I doubt the really tiny amount of chlorophyll can make all the food for the plant. and as is the case with red dragon VFTs and others, they don't only have to make enough food for the plant to stay alive and grow but also to store enough for the months of winter and then the rapid growth of spring.
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
    wikipedia rocks! (except for species info)(CPers-add your vast knowledge of CPs to wikipedia&#33
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it
    Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything

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