RNA function and phosphorus use by photosynthetic organisms

John A. Raven

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)


    Phosphorus (P) in RNA accounts for half or more of the total non-storage P in oxygenic photolithotrophs grown in either P-replete or P-limiting growth conditions. Since many natural environments are P-limited for photosynthetic primary productivity, and peak phosphorus fertilizer production is inevitable, the paper analyses what economies in P allocation to RNA could, in principle, increase P-use efficiency of growth (rate of dry matter production per unit organism P). The possibilities of decreasing P allocation to RNA without decreasing growth rate include (1) more widespread down-regulation of RNA production in P-limited organisms, (2) optimal allocation of P to RNA, both spatially among cell compartments and organs, and temporally depending on the stage of growth, and (3) a constant rate of protein synthesis through the diel cycle. Acting on these suggestions would, however, be technically demanding.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number536
    JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2013


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