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EurekAlert July 22, 2004

Plant Respiration not just an Evolutionary Leftover

Summary by Tom Magnuson

Photorespiration, “a biological process in plants, thought to be useless and even wasteful” and “just an evolutionary leftover” from an age when carbon dioxide was more prevalent, has been found to be “necessary for healthy plant growth and if impaired could inhibit plant growth,” according to a UC Davis study. It functions as a way to inhibit nitrate assimilation. Some agricultural scientists assumed it was an unnecessary process to be genetically engineered out of plants because it was wasteful, “But the new UC Davis study suggests that there is more to photorespiration than meets the eye and any attempts to minimize its activity in crop plants would be ill advised.”

Evolutionary presuppositions stood in the way of scientific progress. A design model would have simply tried to determine the reason for the phenomenon.

For the full article, click the link above.

File Date: 7.22.04

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