Photosynthesis and the Origin of Life

  title={Photosynthesis and the Origin of Life},
  author={Hyman Hartman},
  journal={Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere},
  • H. Hartman
  • Published 1 October 1998
  • Biology
  • Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere
The origin and evolution of photosynthesis is considered to be the key to the origin of life. This eliminates the need for a soup as the synthesis of the bioorganics are to come from the fixation of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. No soup then no RNA world or Protein world. Cyanobacteria have been formed by the horizontal transfer of green sulfur bacterial photoreaction center genes by means of a plasmid into a purple photosynthetic bacterium. The fixation of carbon dioxide is considered to have… 
The Evolution of Cyanobacteria and Photosynthesis
  • G. Drews
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 2011
Oxygenic photosynthesis, i.e. the biosynthesis of carbohydrate from CO2 supported by light-dependent ATP formation and production of O2, evolved very early, presumably about 2,300 million years
Thinking About the Evolution of Photosynthesis
The transition from anoxygenic to oxygenic photosynthesis took place when the cyanobacteria learned how to use water as an electron donor for carbon dioxide reduction, and before that, ferrous iron may have been the original source of reducing power.
Evolution of the 3-hydroxypropionate bicycle and recent transfer of anoxygenic photosynthesis into the Chloroflexi
Significance Photosynthesis supports life on our planet; however, we know very little about the origins of this metabolism. Anoxygenic photosynthesis existed prior to the evolution of its more
‘Evolution of Photosynthesis’ (1970), re-examined thirty years later
  • J. Olson
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Photosynthesis Research
  • 2004
The original conviction that the evolution of photosynthesis was intimately connected with the origin of life has been replaced with the realization that photosynthesis may have been invented by the Bacteria after their divergence from the Archea.
From Ionizing Radiation to Photosynthesis
This chapter focuses on the driving forces of the origin and the evolution of the early anoxygenic photosynthesis before the onset of the oxygenic cyanobacterial photosynthesis 2.8–2.4 billion years
The Symbiontic Nature of Metabolic Evolution
A scheme for the evolution of the central metabolism with archaeal as well as eubacterial roots is proposed and a remarkable property of DEB theory for metabolic organization is that organisms of two species that exchange products can together follow a symbiogenic route such that the symbiosis behaves as a new organism that itself follows the DEB rules.
Energetics of the First Life
It is argued that the evolutionarily relevant, continuous fluxes of reducing equivalents, which were needed for the syntheses of the first biomolecules, may have been provided by the inorganic photosynthesis and by the redox reactions within hot, iron-containing rocks.
Hydrogen metabolism of green algae: discovery and early research – a tribute to Hans Gaffron and his coworkers
It is shown that the emergence of the present mechanistic concepts was closely linked to the changing perception of the process of photosynthetic water oxidation, and can be fueled by reducing equivalents derived from a photolysis of water as well as by an oxidation of internal and external organic molecules.


Conjectures and reveries
The chromophores evolved from ferrous ion through the quinones, carotenoids, phycobilins to chlorophyll, which implies that photosynthesis began in the UV and evolved through the blue, yellow, orange into the red.
Origin and early evolution of photosynthesis
The evolutionary relationships of the reaction center complexes found in all the classes of currently existing organisms have been analyzed using sequence analysis and biophysical measurements and it is indicated that all reaction centers fall into two basic groups, those with pheophytin and a pair of quinones as early acceptors, and those with iron sulfur clusters asEarly acceptors.
Carbon dioxide assimilation in oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis
  • B. Buchanan
  • Environmental Science
    Photosynthesis Research
  • 2004
Thioredoxins, an ubiquitous group of low molecular weight proteins with catalytically active thiols, are described in some detail, notably their role in regulating the reductive pentose phosphate cycle of oxygenic photosynthesis and their potential use as markers to trace the evolutionary development of photosynthesis.
  • S. Granick
  • Chemistry
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1957
The possible origins of photosynthesis in relation to hypotheses on the origin of life is discussed and it is proposed that the first organization of preprotoplasm would be a primitive energy-conversion unit that could perform the elementary processes of photoynthesis and respiration.
Anaerobic oxidation of ferrous iron by purple bacteria, a new type of phototrophic metabolism
Anoxic iron-rich sediment samples that had been stored in the light showed development of brown, rusty patches and the existence of ferrous iron-oxidizing anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria may offer an explanation for the deposition of early banded-iron formations in an assumed anoxic biosphere in Archean times.
Retrobiosynthetic analysis of carbon fixation in the phototrophic eubacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus.
There is evidence for a new cyclic autotrophic pathway in which acetyl-CoA is converted to 3-hydroxypropionate and further to succinate and malate, and the 13C labeling and coupling patterns suggest a novel carbon fixation pathway via 3-Hydroxy Propionate.
Contrasting evolutionary histories of chloroplast thioredoxins f and m.
The results indicate that, during evolution, thioredoxin m of contemporary photosynthetic eukaryotic cells was derived from a prokaryotic symbiont, whereas thiOREDoxin f descended from an ancestral eukARYote common to plants and animals.
A 3,800-million-year isotopic record of life from carbon in sedimentary rocks
An increased ratio of 12C to 13C, an indicator of the principal carbon-fixing reaction of photosynthesis, is found in sedimentary organic matter dating back to almost four thousand million years
The oldest records of photosynthesis.
  • S. Awramik
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Photosynthesis research
  • 1992
These Early Archean stromatolites suggest that phototrophs evolved by 3500 million years ago, and would indicate that nearly all prokaryotic phyla had already evolved and that proKaryotes diversified rapidly on the early Earth.
Isolation, sequence, and expression in Escherichia coli of an unusual thioredoxin gene from the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120
The Anabaena strain 7120 thioredoxin gene was expressed in E. coli, and the protein was purified by assaying for protein disulfide reductase activity, using insulin as a substrate.