MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Can a plant live without CO2?

Date: Tue Feb 8 20:26:08 2005
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 1107886408.Bt

Most plants cannot live without CO2 because it is required for photosynthesis.
The rare exceptions would be parasitic plants, such as Indian pipe and
Rafflesia, that lack chlorophyll and cannot conduct photosynthesis. However,
such parasitic plants obtain their energy from photosynthetic plants, which do
require CO2.

It is also possible to grow mutant plants that lack chlorophyll, such as albino
corn, by feeding them a sugar solution. Albino plants do not require carbon
dioxide when supplied sugar.


Hershey, D.R. 1992. Plants can't do without CO2. Science Teacher 59(3):41-43.

Re: What is a good plant to test the effects of sugar or sweetener?

Re: Are there any plants that do not produce/release oxygen?

Hershey, D.R. 1999. Myco-heterophytes and parasitic plants in food chains.
American Biology Teacher 61:575-578.

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