New insights into the CO2 Concentrating Mechanism

Congratulations to Avi on his paper that was recently published in PNAS! In this paper, done in collaboration with Niall Mangan at UW and Ron Milo at the Weizmann Institute, we develop a sophisticated and complete treatment of the critical reactions of the CO2 Concentrating Mechanism found in cyanobacteria. Surprisingly, we find that pH plays a previously unappreciated role in trapping CO2 in the cell, much in the same way that glucose is phosphorylated upon entry into a human cell. Without a critical adjustment of the pH during the light reactions of photosynthesis, the cell leaks carbon and the process is inefficient. Thus, the work demarcates an important physiological constraint that shapes the efficiency of the system and one to take into account as we think about novel ways of improving photosynthesis. 

Article can be found: here

Code is available here: here

Overview of the CCM modeled in Mangan et al.

Overview of the CCM modeled in Mangan et al.