Elucidating the Calvin Cycle Throughout the 1940s and most of the 1950s Melvin Calvin and two post-doctoral researchers, Andrew Benson and James Basham, developed several new techniques which were necessary in their quest to understand how plants convert CO 2 into glucose. Things they needed: 1) A way to track movement of CO 2 as it changes into other chemicals: 14 C is a radioactive form of carbon. In the 1940s, radioactive isotopes first became available for research use. Calvin et al. realized they could use radioactive C in CO 2. 2) A way to identify what chemicals were formed: They developed two-dimensional paper chromatography. Two different solvents were used and run at right angles to each other. This allowed separation of chemicals on the basis solubility in butanol:water and in phenol.
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course BIOL 116 taught by Professor Meyer during the Spring '08 term at Austin College.