Fabrice Rappaport, a friend of many in the field and the chair of the last GRC on Photosynthesis, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 12, in Paris. A page will be erected in his honor in ISPR News / Remembering. Contributions (text or photos) would be greatly appreciated; please send them to this address.
New meetings announced (see Meetings / Upcoming Meetings for details):
School on Molecular and Biophysical Aspects of Photosynthesis: Will be held on January 25-29, 2016, in Venice, Italy.
4th International Workshop on Solar Energy for Sustainability: Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics – Will be held on March 21-24, 2016, in Singapore
C4 Photosynthesis: past, present and future: Will be held on April 10-13, 2016, in Canberra, Australia.
The 12th Workshop on Cyanobacteria: Will be held on May 19-22, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona, USA
Gordon Conference on Mitochondria and Chloroplasts: Will be held on June 19-24, 2016, at Mount Snow, Vermont, USA
7th Conference on Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: Will be held on June 19-26, 2016, at Pushchino, Russia
Prof. Lou Duysens has passed away. A page has been erected in his honor in ISPR News / Remembering and contributions to it would be greatly appreciated.
Jan Anderson (ANU) died on August 28, 2015. Please see the notice in ISPR News / Remembering
Save the date for PS17! August 7012, 2016, Maastricht, the Netherlands. See flyer for details.
Photosynthesis research is best dated from the discovery in 1771 by Joseph Priestley that enclosure of a sprig of mint in a glass vessel for 10 days restored air "rendered noxious by breathing" to its former "salubrious condition".
His discovery of oxygen and its generation by plants from sunlight, air and water led to our present understanding of the ways in which the thin green veneer of the plant biosphere, on land and at sea, has transformed the atmosphere of Earth to one that sustains humankind and most other life processes.
Photosynthesis in plants produces the oxygen we breath, the bread and wine, the fuels and fibers that support our everyday lives.
Photosynthetic processes in natural ecosystems, agriculture and forestry are first responders to global climate change and continue to attract intensive, creative research from molecular to global scales.
Studies of photosynthetic processes have been an integral part of research recognised by several Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, most recently and specifically in 1961 (Calvin, for elucidating the dark reaction pathways of carbon dioxide fixation) and in 1988 (Deisenhofer, Huber, and Michel, for unraveling the structure of the photosynthetic bacterial reaction center). Photosynthesis research was further recognized by the Prize in Biology (1991) awarded by the Emperor of Japan to Hatch and Slack (for unraveling the C4 pathway of carbon metabolism in sugarcane and other plants).
As we begin to understand how the closed atmosphere of planet Earth has been destabilized by the burning of hundreds of millions of years accumulated fossil photosynthate (coal and oil) in just a few hundred years, our research in photosynthesis must now strive to develop renewable alternative energy resources, while ensuring food security in the face of global climate change. The need for broad multidisciplinary efforts to achieve "artificial photosynthesis" was recognised recently by the award in Helsinki of the Millennium Technology Prize to Michael Grätzel for his bio-inspired achievements in solar energy transduction.
Current front line research from members of ISPR can be seen by clicking on "Research news".