Powering the Planet

The conversion of light energy into chemical by photosynthesis yields approximately 100 terawatts of power annually: six times the power consumption of human civilization!


Much To Learn

The best-studied plant species is an experimental mustard plant called Arabidopsis thaliana. Despite generations of research, we only know what about 20 percent of its genes do.

Toward a Sustainable Future

Plant science will be crucial for solving many of society’s most-pressing demands and Carnegie researchers are stepping up to the challenge.

Plants can convert the Sun’s energy into chemical energy—sugars and fats—using a biochemical process called photosynthesis. This series of reactions shaped our planet’s atmosphere, forms the baseline of our entire food supply, and sequesters about a quarter of the carbon pollution released by human activity.

This means that plant science is crucial for helping humanity prepare for and mitigate the coming difficulties, including fighting hunger, promoting renewable energy, and combatting climate change. But to accomplish this, we need to understand the mechanisms underpinning plant growth, development, environmental responses, and adaptation.

Every day, Carnegie biologists use a variety of cutting-edge approaches to answer these crucial questions, and more, with the hope of building a foundation for a sustainable world.