Volume 89 Issue 17 | p. 33 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 25, 2011

Extra Chlorophyll Helps Bacteria Photosynthesize

Eighth and previously unknown bacteriochlorophyll may be missing link to help scientists understand how bacteria turn sunlight into chemical energy
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: photosynthesis, bacteriochlorophyll, antenna, FMO

A key photosynthesis protein in certain bac teria contains eight bacteriochlorophyll molecules—one more than previously realized (Biochemistry, DOI: 10.1021/bi200239k). The additional compound is critical to understanding and modeling exactly how the bacteria turn sunlight into chemical energy. In green sulfur bacteria, the photosynthetic machinery is made up of an antenna complex that acts like a satellite dish to gather energy from sunlight, a reaction center that does electron-transfer chemistry, and the FMO protein (trimer . . .

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