The theoretical maxima of solar energy conversion efficiencies and productivities in oxygenic photosynthesis are evaluated. These are contrasted with actual measurements in a variety of photosynthetic organisms, including green microalgae, cyanobacteria, C4 and C3 plants. Minimizing, or truncating, the chlorophyll antenna size of the photosystems can improve photosynthetic solar energy conversion efficiency and productivity up to 3-fold. Generation of truncated light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna size ( tla ) strains, in all classes of photosynthetic organisms would help to alleviate excess absorption of sunlight and the ensuing wasteful dissipation of excitation energy, and to maximize solar-to-product energy conversion efficiency and photosynthetic productivity in high-density mass cultivations. The tla concept may find application in the commercial exploitation of microalgae and plants for the generation of biomass, biofuels, chemical feedstocks, as well as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.
Plant Science – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2009
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