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EMBL-EBI_Structures_of_Christmas_2016_RUBISCO

3D printout: molecular structure of RuBisCO

An inefficient molecule that led to the evolution of plants: RuBisCO. If a Martian visited Earth and was asked to report back on the most important ingredient in our biosphere, quite possibly it would choose RuBisCO. As enzymes go it isn’t very big, but it is a very big deal. It is extremely common – every single plant and photosynthetic cyanobacterium is stuffed full of it – and it performs one of the most crucial reactions for all of life: “fixing” gaseous carbon dioxide into sugars and amino acids. But why is it so inefficient?

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