Standard Article

Photosynthesis and Respiration in Cyanobacteria

  1. Wim FJ Vermaas

Published Online: 25 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001670



How to Cite

Vermaas, W. F. 2001. Photosynthesis and Respiration in Cyanobacteria. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 APR 2001


Cyanobacteria are among the very few groups that can perform oxygenic photosynthesis and respiration simultaneously in the same compartment, and some cyanobacterial species are able to fix nitrogen. This combination of metabolic pathways is unusual and this metabolic flexibility may be responsible for the evolutionary hardiness of the cyanobacteria and their ability to thrive under a wide range of conditions.


  • cytochrome b6f complex;
  • soluble electron carriers;
  • oxidases;
  • electron transfer;
  • succinate dehydrogenase