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FEBS Letters 382 (1996)220-221 FEBS 16755 Reply to Commentary

Summary: FEBS Letters 382 (1996)220-221 FEBS 16755
Reply to Commentary
Reply to Commentary by Helmut Beinert and Patricia Kiley
John F. Allen*
Plant Cell Binlogy, Lund University, Box 7007, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Received31 January 1996
The van Niel equation provides a general description of
photosynthetic assimilation of carbon dioxide:
2H2A + CO2 ~ CH20 + H20 + 2A (t)
and its reverse (omitting light) is a general description of
respiration, 'A' can be sulphur, nothing, organic acids such
as fumarate, or oxygen, among others. Thus, photosynthesis
and respiration are redox chemistry, and there is nothing spe-
cial about oxygen, which is just one possible oxidation prod-
uct and electron sink:
H20 + CO2 ~ CH20 + 02 (z)
Admittedly, photosynthetic oxidation of water and respira-
tory reduction of oxygen are close to home, and the abun-
dance of water (at 55 M), together with the large free energy
change when 'A' equals 'O', has led to the dominance of


Source: Allen, John F. - School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London


Collections: Renewable Energy; Biology and Medicine