Japanese Society for Plant Physiologists Young Investigator Award (2009)
Evolution of photosynthesis will be investigated. There are two types of photosynthesis: oxygenic photosynthesis and anoxygenic photosynthesis. Plants and cyanobacteria perform oxygenic photosynthesis. Before emerging the oxygenic photosynthesis, anoxygenic photosynthesis was believed being established in some bacterial species. Evolutional backgrounds and processes of how oxygenic photosynthesis had been emerged are largely unknown. Oxygen evolution by oxygenic photosynthesis dramatically changed atmospheric composition that significantly influenced biological evolution and earth environment. Thus, studying evolutional processes of photosynthesis is critically important for understanding evolution of early earth and life. Here, oxygenic photosynthesis will be created in vitro by synthetic biology approach with several anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria. Together with results from our and other groups, significance of photosynthesis for early earth environment will be discussed.