Scientists unlock mystery in important photosynthesis step

February 20, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: ScienceDaily] – An international team of scientists, including two from Arizona State University, has taken a significant step closer to unlocking the secrets of photosynthesis, and possibly to cleaner fuels.

Plants and algae, as well as cyanobacteria, use photosynthesis to produce oxygen and “fuels,” the latter being oxidizable substances like carbohydrates and hydrogen. There are two pigment-protein complexes that orchestrate the primary reactions of light in oxygenic photosynthesis: photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII). Understanding how these photosystems work their magic is one of the long-sought goals of biochemistry.

The ASU scientists working with collaborators at the Max Planck Institute at Mülheim a.d. Ruhr in Germany have been investigating the PSI reaction center.

For more information: Scientists Unlock Mystery in Important Photosynthesis Step