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Title: THE PATH OF CARBON IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS

Abstract

It is almost sixty years since Emil Fischer was describing on a platform such as this one some of the work which led to the basic knowledge of the structure of glucose and its relatives. Today we will be concerned with a description of the experiments which have led to a knowledge of the principal reactions by which those carbohydrate structures are created by photosynthetic organisms from carbon dioxide and water, using the energy of light. The speculations on the way in which carbohydrate was built from carbon dioxide began not long after the recognition of the basic reaction and were carried forward first by Justus von Liebig and then by Adolf von Baeyer and, finally, by Richard Wilstatter and Arthur Stoll into this century. Actually, the route by which animal organisms performed the reverse reaction, that is, the combustion of carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and water with the utilization of the energy resulting from this combination, turned out to be the first one to be successfully mapped, primarily by Otto Meyerhoi and Hans Krebs. Our own interest in the basic process of solar energy conversion by green plants began some time in the years between 1935 and 1937, duringmore » my postdoctoral studies with Professor Michael Polanyi at Manchester. It was there I first became conscious of the remarkable properties of coordinated metal compounds, particularly metalloporphyins as represented by heme and chlorophyll. A study was begun at that time, which is still continuing, on the electronic behavior of such metalloporphyrins. It was extended and generalized by the stimulus of Professor Gilbert N. Lewis upon my arrival in Berkeley. I hope these continuing studies may one day contribute to the understanding of the precise way in which chlorophyll and its relatives accomplish the primary quantum conversion into chemical potential which is used to drive the carbohydrate synthesis reaction.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Nobel Prize lecture)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USAEC
OSTI Identifier:
928404
Report Number(s):
UCRL-9966
TRN: US200812%%479
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; ANIMALS; CARBOHYDRATES; CARBON; CARBON DIOXIDE; CHLOROPHYLL; COMBUSTION; GLUCOSE; HEME; PHOTOSYNTHESIS; SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION; SYNTHESIS; WATER

Citation Formats

Calvin, Melvin. THE PATH OF CARBON IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS. United States: N. p., 1961. Web. doi:10.2172/928404.
Calvin, Melvin. THE PATH OF CARBON IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS. United States. doi:10.2172/928404.
Calvin, Melvin. Mon . "THE PATH OF CARBON IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS". United States. doi:10.2172/928404. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/928404.
@article{osti_928404,
title = {THE PATH OF CARBON IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS},
author = {Calvin, Melvin},
abstractNote = {It is almost sixty years since Emil Fischer was describing on a platform such as this one some of the work which led to the basic knowledge of the structure of glucose and its relatives. Today we will be concerned with a description of the experiments which have led to a knowledge of the principal reactions by which those carbohydrate structures are created by photosynthetic organisms from carbon dioxide and water, using the energy of light. The speculations on the way in which carbohydrate was built from carbon dioxide began not long after the recognition of the basic reaction and were carried forward first by Justus von Liebig and then by Adolf von Baeyer and, finally, by Richard Wilstatter and Arthur Stoll into this century. Actually, the route by which animal organisms performed the reverse reaction, that is, the combustion of carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and water with the utilization of the energy resulting from this combination, turned out to be the first one to be successfully mapped, primarily by Otto Meyerhoi and Hans Krebs. Our own interest in the basic process of solar energy conversion by green plants began some time in the years between 1935 and 1937, during my postdoctoral studies with Professor Michael Polanyi at Manchester. It was there I first became conscious of the remarkable properties of coordinated metal compounds, particularly metalloporphyins as represented by heme and chlorophyll. A study was begun at that time, which is still continuing, on the electronic behavior of such metalloporphyrins. It was extended and generalized by the stimulus of Professor Gilbert N. Lewis upon my arrival in Berkeley. I hope these continuing studies may one day contribute to the understanding of the precise way in which chlorophyll and its relatives accomplish the primary quantum conversion into chemical potential which is used to drive the carbohydrate synthesis reaction.},
doi = {10.2172/928404},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Dec 11 00:00:00 EST 1961},
month = {Mon Dec 11 00:00:00 EST 1961}
}

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