“The discovery, published today in Science, was led by Imperial College London, supported by the BBSRC, and involved groups from the ANU in Canberra, the CNRS in Paris and Saclay and the CNR in Milan.
The vast majority of life on Earth uses visible red light in the process of photosynthesis, but the new type uses near-infrared light instead. It was detected in a wide range of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) when they grow in near-infrared light, found in shaded conditions like bacterial mats in Yellowstone and in beach rock in Australia.
As scientists have now discovered, it also occurs in a cupboard fitted with infrared LEDs in Imperial College London.
The discovery changes our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite the textbooks.”
D.J. Nürnberg, J. Morton, S. Santabarbara, A. Telfer, P. Joliot, L. A. Antonaru, A. V. Ruban, T. Cardona, E. Krausz, A. Boussac, A. Fantuzzi and A. William Rutherford (2018). Photochemistry beyond the red limit in chlorophyll f–containing photosystems. Science 15 Jun 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6394, pp. 1210-1213. DOI: 10.1126/science.aar8313