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Researchers Identify Missing Link In Photosynthesis

January 5, 2013

April Flowers for redOrbit – Your Universe Online

For almost three decades, scientists have tried to identify a particular enzyme involved in regulating electron transport during photosynthesis. Now, a research team from Ludwig Maximilians Universitat (LMU) has found the missing link, which turns out to be not so new.

All life on Earth is sustained by photosynthesis, a sunlight powered process that provides energy-rich compounds and the molecular oxygen that higher organisms depend on. “Biochemical solar cells” called photosystems capture the sunlight. Photosystems are found in plants, algae and certain types of bacteria. Plants have two photosystems – PSI and PSII – each consisting of a pigment-protein complex that uses solar energy to raise electrons to a higher energy level. These electrons are passed along a chain of electron acceptors, releasing energy used for the synthesis of ATP. ATP is considered the “coinage” used for all energy transactions in cells.

Read more: Photosynthesis – The Last Link In The Chain – Science News – redOrbit.

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