Photoproduction of Molecular Hydrogen by a Plant-Algal Symbiotic System

Science  13 Feb 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4227, pp. 559-561
DOI: 10.1126/science.191.4227.559


The rapidly growing water fern Azolla, which contains a nitrogen-fixing blue-green algal symbiont, has been studied as a possible system for photoproduction of molecular hydrogen. When this plant is grown on a combined nitrogen supply, photochemically generated hydrogen can be diverted through the algal nitrogenase system, which serves as a source of molecular hydrogen generated from water. This symbiosis has several advantages as a possible biological energy conversion system.