Plant Photosystem I – The Most Efficient Nano-Photochemical Machine

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Hydrogen is one of the most promising energy carriers among environmentally friendly and clean energy sources for the future. If the extremely effective photosynthetic energy conversion could be efficiently combined with a biological process of hydrogen production, it will represent a significant step toward this goal. The best candidate to do the job is photosystem I (PSI) of oxygenic photosynthesis. Despite its enormous complexity, the plant PSI is arguably the most efficient nano-photochemical machine in Nature. It emerged as a homodimeric structure containing several chlorophyll molecules over 3.5 billion years ago, and has perfected its photoelectric properties ever since. The recently determined structure of plant PSI, which is at the top of the evolutionary tree of this kind of complexes, provided the first relatively high-resolution structural model of the supercomplex containing a reaction center (RC) and a peripheral antenna (LHCI) complexes. The structure should provide a template for designing artificial systems amenable for utilizable energy production.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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