Quantum dots are versatile fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals with unique photophysical properties. They have been used in various research fields of biotechnology effectively for almost three decades including cell imaging, protein tracking, energy transfer, etc. With their great potential as energy donors or acceptors, quantum dots have also been used in many studies about altering growth rate and photosynthetic activity of photosynthetic organisms by manipulating their light harvesting capacity. In this review, effect of quantum dots on growth rate of photosynthetic organisms and light harvesting capacity of photosynthetic organisms were discussed in details together with toxic effects of cadmium-based and carbon-based quantum dots on photosynthetic organisms. In short, as one of the promising materials of nanotechnology, quantum dots have become one of the essential research topics in photosynthesis research area and will help researchers to manipulate natural photosynthesis in future.