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Removed reference to paywalling. Nature is a print publication that costs to produce. If you want a copy you need to buy it.
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Why “Having chlorophyll without photosynthesis is actually very dangerous” and “like living with a bomb”?

The Phys.org article Scientists discover first organism with chlorophyll genes that doesn't photosynthesize says

"For the first time scientists have found an organism that can produce chlorophyll but does not engage in photosynthesis.

It is referring to the new paper in Nature A widespread coral-infecting apicomplexan with chlorophyll biosynthesis genes.

"This is the second most abundant cohabitant of coral on the planet and it hasn't been seen until now," says Patrick Keeling, a University of British Columbia botanist and senior researcher overseeing the study published in Nature. "This organism poses completely new biochemical questions. It looks like a parasite, and it's definitely not photosynthetic. But it still makes chlorophyll."


Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and algae that allows them to absorb energy from sunlight during photosynthesis.

"Having chlorophyll without photosynthesis is actually very dangerous because chlorophyll is very good at capturing energy, but without photosynthesis to release the energy slowly it is like living with a bomb in your cells," Keeling says.

Question: Why "Having chlorophyll without photosynthesis is actually very dangerous" and "like living with a bomb"?

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