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Fluorophores enhance photosynthesis: dwarf mountain pine

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Pinus mugo subsp. mugo / Bogdangiusca / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

Cuticular wax of dwarf mountain pine enhance photosynthesis by having fluorophores that convert harmful solar UV into blue light that can be utilised for photosynthesis in low-light conditions.

FUNCTION
Summary
"[T]he P. mugo [Pinus] grown at high elevations in the Alps has a cuticular wax coat that also contains fluorophores, which convert the harmful solar UV into blue light. This additional blue light can be utilised for photosynthesis in low-light conditions, which gives the P. mugo ecological advantage over other Alpine species. The principle of turning useless...radiation into useful energy sets an example for new biological based coatings." (Jacobs 2007:166)
About the inspiring organism
Med_pine Pinus mugo
Pinus mugo Turra
Common name: Swiss mountain pine

Learn more at EOL.org
Some organism data provided by: Conifer Database
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: More efficient solar cells by adding a fluorescent coating that converts an unexploited high-energy fraction into useful radiation. More efficient solar cells by adding a fluorescent coating that enhances capabilities in low-light conditions.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Energy

References
Jacobs JF; Koper GJM; Ursem WNJ. 2007. UV protective coatings: A botanical approach. Progress in Organic Coatings. 58: 166–171.
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