2
$\begingroup$

"Photosynthesis" is what is used to describe how plants use sunlight to synthesize sugars, but, I also heard some animals like humans use sunlight in the process of creating vitamin D. Is there a comparable name for when sunlight is used by animals in a metabolic process?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you would want to replace "animals" with "organisms". I don't think there would be a special term just for animals. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 19 '18 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ One important metabolic process where light is used by animals is the visual cycle, where light-induced isomerization of 11-cis-retinal to all-trans retinal is a key event. $\endgroup$ – user1136 Dec 19 '18 at 11:27
5
$\begingroup$

Photometabolism or photocatalysis would be apt terms and the former would specifically refer to biochemical reactions.

Photometabolism is also used in the context of the light dependent conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to Vitamin-D.

A google scholar search with photometabolism returns many peer-reviewed articles that have used this term. Some examples:

  1. Photometabolism of 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3 in skin.
  2. The photometabolism of glucose by an hydrogen-adapted alga
  3. Photometabolism of Heterocyclic Aromatic Compounds by Rhodopseudomonas palustris OU 11.
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "photo-metabolism" also, e.g.here. $\endgroup$ – David Dec 19 '18 at 21:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.