Researchers have discovered a new, previously unknown phenomenon that plants are able to make “secret decisions” and choose between several possibilities, during the process of releasing carbon into the atmosphere.
These results were published in the journal “Nature Plants” and were carried out by scientists at the University of Western Australia, and they indicated that plants are able to determine how much carbon they want to get rid of in the air.
The researchers found that plants control their breathing in an unexpected way, as they can control how much carbon they retain by using the metabolic channel. It is noteworthy that plants produce carbon during the process of photosynthesis (Photosynthèse) to convert light energy into chemical energy to be able to obtain nutrition.
It “makes that decision” just before plants decide to burn a compound called pyruvate to produce and release carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. A plant can burn pyruvate and release carbon dioxide, or it can use it to build phospholipids, vegetable oils, amino acids and other things it needs to make its biomass.
This means that the plant can trace the source of the pyruvate, choosing between releasing it or sticking with it.
The research team argues that this ability to make decisions breaks the normal rules of biochemistry, where the reaction is usually “competitive” between chemicals.
Scientists highlight the importance of understanding the respiration process in plants, to contribute to reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere that cause global warming. They point out the need for plants to be a good carbon store, when thinking about genetically developing plants.
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