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News Photosynthesis

  • A long day for microbes, and the rise of oxygen on Earth

    Life on Earth today relies on the presence of oxygen. However, the process behind the step-wise rise of oxygen levels in the atmosphere, which took place over nearly two billion years, remains under debate. An international team of scientists around Judith Klatt from the Max Planck Institute for Mar more

  • The hidden machinery of a photosynthetic giant revealed

    Photosynthesis is the fundament of almost all live on earth, and yet it is not understood down to the last detail. An international research team has now unravelled one of its secrets. The researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), Osaka University, Japan, and Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt, ha more

  • Cyanobacteria can help astronauts survive self-sufficiently on Mars

    Leading space agencies aspire astronaut missions to Mars in the future. These are designed for a long-term stay, which poses new challenges for science: In addition to a habitat, for example, the few materials brought from Earth must be used efficiently and sustainably to equip and feed the astronau more

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Videos Photosynthesis

What If Humans Could Photosynthesize?

The sun shines a massive amount of energy onto the Earth’s surface every day. What if humans could take a cue from plants and use sunlight to make their own food? From chloroplasts to carbon dioxide, Reactions creates a hypothetical photosynthetic human and gives a quick crash course on the chem ... more

Serial crystallography - Decoding biomolecules at PSI

In serial crystallography, crystals are injected into an x-ray beam. When the beam and crystal collide, light beams are deflected. The deflected light beams are recorded by a detector. The structure of the crystals can be determined from the light patterns that many identical crystals create on ... more

Infographics Photosynthesis

How Do Evergreen Trees Stay Green?

While some trees drop their leaves in autumn, others stay green all year round. How do they accomplish this, and what’s the benefit? This graphic takes a look at some of the chemical tricks these trees utilise.  more

Die Chemikalien hinter den Farben der Herbstblätter

Mit dem Herbst am Horizont haben die Blätter einiger Bäume bereits den Übergang zu den leuchtenden Farbtönen des Herbstes begonnen. Während diese Veränderung äußerlich wie eine einfache erscheint, sind die vielen leuchtenden Farben das Ergebnis einer Reihe von chemischen Verbindungen, von denen hier more

The Chemistry of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers come in a range of hues, from fresh greens to vibrant reds. Chemical pigments are behind these, but what changes to cause peppers to travel through this spectrum of colours? Here we take a look at the compounds behind the colours (as well as some pepper aroma chemistry) – and find that more

Publications Photosynthesis

  • Photochemistry beyond the red limit in chlorophyll f–containing photosystems

    Photosystems I and II convert solar energy into the chemical energy that powers life. Chlorophyll a photochemistry, using red light (680 to 700 nm), is near universal and is considered to define the energy "red limit" of oxygenic photosynthesis. We present biophysical studies on the photosystems fr more

  • Lower-energy photons do the work, too

    Photosynthesis Plants and cyanobacteria use chlorophyll-rich photosystem complexes to convert light energy into chemical energy. Deep-water organisms do not receive the full spectrum of light and have adaptations to take advantage of longer-wavelength photons. Nürnberg et al. studied photosystem more

  • Antenna switches partners in the shade

    Photosynthesis A cloudy day or an overshadowing tree causes fluctuations in light that can throw off the balance of energy flow in plant photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII). Pan et al. solved structures of PSI bound to two light-harvesting complexes (LHCs). One LHC is permanently associated with more

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Photosynthesis is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. Photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by living organism s. The raw materials are carbon dioxide and water ; the energy source is sunlight ; ... more


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