Methanol and improved yields
Lawrence.London at bbs.oit.unc.edu
Fri Oct 30 21:00:26 EST 1992
In article <1992Oct30.161544.12654 at mail.cornell.edu> Thomas Bjorkman <Thomas_Bjorkman at cornell.edu> writes:
>In article <1992Oct23.022535.17164 at samba.oit.unc.edu> Larry London,
>london at calypso.uucp writes:
>>In article <1992Oct20.141824.7870 at iscsvax.uni.edu> klier at iscsvax.uni.edu
>>>CO2. I haven't seen the original paper (just the blurb in Sci News)-
>I have just read the original article in PNAS. I am surprised at how
>little it adds to the LA Times clipping I read about it.
>The gist is that under conditions when photorespiration occurs, methanol
>helps. Normally Rubisco, the enzyme responsible for fixing carbon
>dioxide also fixes a certain amount of oxygen creating products that take
>energy to get back to the starting point. That is wasteful. What they
>speculate the following: methanol will bind the enzyme in place of
>oxygen. The result is photosynthesis by CO2 fixation and also methanol
>fixation but no photorespiration.
>One curious thing: Andy Benson knows photosynthesis like nobody's
>business. In fact the biochemical pathway of photosynthesis is called
>the Calvin-Benson cycle. So why didn't they measure the biochemistry of
>methanol fixation since at least one of the authors is as good as anybody
>at figuring out the biochemistry?
>Along more practical lines, it seems that the increased turgor is caused
>by the higher photosynthesis making more sugar in the "noonday sun", so
>that there is more osmotic pressure and thus turgor. Sounds OK, but
>there are not direct data.
>Getting even more practical...
>If you are growing tomatoes or watermelons in the Arizona summer you have
>to water. From a resource use standpoint, you can apparently cut down on
>water use by spraying methanol which is a benefit. It also seems that it
>is beneficial from an energy standpoint in that the energy value of the
>methanol that is sprayed on the plants is likely to be less than the
>energy required to pump the extra water.
>Now about those explosions: for most of the tender-leaved vegetables,
>10-15% methanol in water was about right. That is not going to burn. As
>with _any_ spray material, it is appropriate to wear a mask to keep it
>out of your lungs (this even applies with water), and to spray when there
>is no wind.
>In summary, this is pretty weird stuff, but there is some plausibility.
>If it is right, there should be some benefits, but it is hardly a
>panacea. It really reminds me of another genius with some way-out
>ideas...Linus Pauling and Vitamin C.
>Horticultural Sciences Department
>Thomas_Bjorkman at cornell.edu
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Campus Office for Information
Technology, or the Experimental Bulletin Board Service.
internet: bbs.oit.unc.edu or 220.127.116.11
More information about the Plantbio