Why the plants are green? Science finally knows it

There are certain obvious things that never seem to question, for example, why plants are green. So a group of scientists led by physicist Nathaniel M. Gabor at the University of California, Riverside, has built a model that reproduces a general characteristic of light harvesting, observed in many photosynthetic organisms, that would provide that tonal characteristic to the plants.

The researchers used a model borrowed from the science of complex networks, which is responsible for seeing the efficiency of cell phones and the electrical network, to describe how a simple network is capable of entering light of two different colors and yet generate a constant rate of solar energy.

“Our model shows that by absorbing only very specific light colors, photosynthetic organisms can automatically protect themselves against sudden changes, or ‘noise’, in solar energy, resulting in remarkably efficient energy conversion,” said Gabor, professor. associate of physics and astronomy, who led the study that appears in the journal Science. “Green plants appear green, and purple bacteria appear purple because only the specific regions of the spectrum they absorb from are suitable for protection against rapidly changing solar energy.”

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“Our model is the first hypothesis-driven explanation of why plants are green, and we provide a roadmap to test the model through more detailed experiments,” said Gabor.

Gabor became obsessed with knowing more about the light collection process in photosynthesis, so on top of the current research he complements that, “our study shows how, when choosing where to absorb solar energy in relation to the incident solar spectrum, it can minimize noise at the output, information that can be used to improve the performance of solar cells. “

Gabor explained that plants and other photosynthetic organisms have a wide variety of tactics to avoid damage from overexposure to the sun, ranging from molecular energy release mechanisms to physical movement of the leaf to follow the sun. Plants have even developed effective protection against UV light.

“Our model is the first hypothesis-driven explanation of why plants are green, and we provide a roadmap to test the model through more detailed experiments,” said Gabor.

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