Year

1996

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Abstract

The plant carbon-fixing enzyme, ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) catalyses the reaction of CO2 with ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP). The overall reaction occurs as a sequence of events involving multiple transition states, providing opportunities for alternative reactions to occur. The most significant being the oxygenation of the RuBP-derived enediol. This side-reaction competes directly with carboxylation and reduces the efficiency of carbon fixation. The Mn2+-activated rubisco oxygenase reaction generates chemiluminescence which provides a new approach for investigating rubisco oxygenation.

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