Over the past 15 years tremendous progress has been made in the study of photosynthetic pathways. It is now accepted that there are 3 distinct photo-synthetic pathways in higher plants: the Calvin-Benson pathway (C3 photosynthesis), the Hatch-Slack pathway (C4 photosynthesis), and Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM photosynthesis). Much progress has been made in describing the biochemistry and physiology of these pathways, but less is understood of the.genetics, ecology, evolution, and regulation of these pathways. The purpose of this review will be to bring the reader up to date on the significant details of the biochemistry and physiology of the 3 photosynthetic pathways and to present an ecological/evolutionary view of the significance of differences in the pathways.
Received for publication February 24, 1979. Supported by NSF DEB 78-10592.
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