New publication - Oxygenic photosynthetic responses of cyanobacteria exposed under an M dwarf starlight simulator: Implications for exoplanet’s habitability.

Pubblicato il: 23.02.2023 14:58


The discovery of rocky Earth-like exoplanets orbiting the Habitable Zone of red dwarfs (M-dwarf stars) lead the astrobiological community to wonder if oxygenic photosynthesis, of primary importance for life on Earth, could utilize the spectrum emitted by these stars which differ from the Sun. The light spectrum emitted by red dwarfs, with very low visible light and a major emission in the far-red, is indeed hardly utilizable by oxygenic photosynthetic organisms, which mostly use visible light for photosynthesis.

The studyOxygenic photosynthetic responses of cyanobacteria exposed under an Mdwarf starlight simulator: Implications for exoplanet’s habitability published on «Frontiers in Plant Science S.I. Revisiting the Limits of Plant Life – Plant Adaptations to Extreme Terrestrial Environments Relating to Astrobiology and Space Biology» was conducted by Mariano Battistuzzi, Lorenzo Cocola, Riccardo Claudi, Anna Caterina Pozzer, Diana Simionato, Tomas Morosinotto, Luca Poletto and Nicoletta La Rocca, thanks to a collaboration between the Department of Biology of the University of Padova (DiBio), the INAF Astronomical observatory of Padova (INAF-OAPD) and the CNR Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies of Padova (CNR-IFN). The study has given, for the first time, data on the oxygen production of cyanobacteria directly exposed to a simulated M-dwarf light and has deepened the acclimation responses of these organisms to this light spectrum from a biochemical and spectroscopical point of view. The data may be utilized as a reference for the interpretation of those obtained from the atmospheres of exoplanets, which will be collected from space missions such as James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), allowing to comprehend the possibility of life on distant exoplanets similar to Earth.



Ultimo aggiornamento: 24.02.2023 08:57