Is animal photosynthesis possible?

What happens when we inject chloroplast cells in human dna?

1 Answer
Jul 18, 2016

Amazingly, yes!


It is a fascinating phenomenon: some animals are capable of photosynthesis. The first and best known example is the sea slug with the name Elysia chlorotica.

E. chlorotica actually 'steals' its photosynthetic ability from the algea it eats. Because of the fairly simple digestion system of this slug, it can engulf (phagocytose) large parts of the algae it eats. Food is not broken down into small pieces as in humans. This way the large chloroplasts responsible for photosynthesis are taken up and can be used by E. chlorotica.

It is actually an example of a symbiotic relationship between a plant and an animal. Photosynthesis is usually not a very efficient process for animals, because it is difficult to generate enough energy for their activities. The mentioned sea slug mastered this process and is able to live up to nine months on photosynthesis alone!

Other animals with such a symbiotic relationship are the spotted salamander ( Ambystoma maculatum) and the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum).