skip to primary navigationskip to content

Photosynthesis: the algal powerhouse

about 09Carbon capture: using energy from sunlight, algae split water to release O2 and fix CO2 from the atmosphere for growth.

Rubisco: the enzyme that fixes CO2 - is the most abundant enzyme on Earth. Packaged into a pyrenoid in many algae.

A big fix: although their biomass is tiny relative to land plants, algae remove their own weight of carbon (3 Gt or 3 Thousand Million tonnes) from the atmosphere each year.

Little and large: picophytoplankton are only 2 μm in diameter, but are vital for the marine food supply chain, whilst giant kelp are up to 60 m in length.

Asynchronised swimmers: the beating flagella that help algae change direction are like cilia in our lungs, and can be models for human disease studies.