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Fellows Directory

Charles Slack

Charles Slack

Dr Charles Slack FRS


Elected: 1989


Roger Slack significantly improved our understanding of photosynthetic carbon assimilation and the mechanism of polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in higher plants. He contributed equally with Marshall D Hatch in establishing the basic principles of mechanism and function of an alternative photosynthetic carbon assimilation process now known as the C4 pathway. He was primarily responsible for identifying several of the key enzymes involved in C4 photosynthesis and determining their inter- and intracellular location. Later, in collaboration with P G Roughan, he demonstrated that oleoyl phosphatidylcholine rather than oleoyl-CoA is the major substrate for C18 polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in plants. These studies led to a novel hypothesis for the origin of the diacylglycerol moieties of different lipids.

Dr Charles "Roger" Slack FRS died on 24 October 2016.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Agricultural and forest science


C4 pathway of photosythesis

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