Despite its role in shaping life as we know it, many aspects of photosynthesis remain a mystery. The researchers used X-ray lasers to capture the most complete and highest-resolution picture to date of Photosystem II, a key protein complex in plants, algae and cyanobacteria responsible for splitting water and producing the oxygen we breathe.
Although they still have a way to go, the researchers said that these results provide a path forward, both in unveiling the mysteries of how photosynthesis works and in offering a blueprint for artificial sources of renewable energy.
The following model is a 3D view of a Chlorophyll A ligand, a critical component in oxygenic photosynthesis. This molecule absorbs light within the violet, blue and red wavelengths. The 3d model offers views of photosynthesis at the atomic level. To leave this help window, click x in upper right hand corner.
Hydrogen Bonds (blue), Halogen Bonds (turquoise), Hydrophobic Contacts (grey), Pi Interactions (orange, green), Metal Interactions (purple)
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