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The strategy of the plants to prevent damage from excessive light
THE LIGHT is the engine of photosynthesis. But what enables plants to produce energy (chemical) is also the one that runs the risk of damaging them. Because if the light is too much the plants are suffering and need to defend themselves. They must therefore have a mechanism that helps to dissipate the excessive light energy. And today, a team of researchers, part Italian thanks to the contributions of the researchers from the University of Pavia and Verona, show how they manage to do it on the pages of Nature Communications.

"plants can respond to rapid changes of solar intensity and getting rid of excess energy, but how does this mechanism fotofisico has been the subject of discussion for decades," explained Gabriela Schlau-Cohen at the Mit in Boston, at the head of the study. Schlau-Cohen and colleagues have succeeded in the enterprise to understand how the plants save themselves from the excess of light - and heat - thanks to a technique of spectroscopy, which allowed them to observe the exchanges of energy between the different pigments of plants, appreciating the changes that occur on time scales very small, of the order of femtosecond (a millionth of a billionth of a second) and on different energy levels. The hypothesis is, in fact, that the excess of light - an excess of photons - distance from the chlorophylls to the carotenoids, which are able to dissipate the energy through vibration, but are also able to counteract the action of free radicals. The technique developed by the researchers would allow you to observe precisely this change, namely the energy transfer between different pigments.
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