This post is the result of me
thinking about whether it's possible to do better than current biology at
something fundamental and important.
The below diagram illustrates a CO2 fixation pathway that uses 13 ATP per glucose 6-phosphate produced, less than the 20 ATP for the ideal Calvin cycle. (In practice, plants use ~26 ATP per glucose because of photorespiration.)
It should also require less protein because carboxylation is done by an analogue of PEP carboxylase instead of RuBisCo. Occasionally CO2 is lost during that carboxylation, but that only costs 1 extra ATP.
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