, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 75-89
Date: 29 Apr 2008

Toward understanding molecular mechanisms of light harvesting and charge separation in photosystem II

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Abstract

Conversion of light energy in photosynthesis is extremely fast and efficient, and understanding the nature of this complex photophysical process is challenging. This review describes current progress in understanding molecular mechanisms of light harvesting and charge separation in photosystem II (PSII). Breakthroughs in X-ray crystallography have allowed the development and testing of more detailed kinetic models than have previously been possible. However, due to the complexity of the light conversion processes, satisfactory descriptions remain elusive. Recent advances point out the importance of variations in the photochemical properties of PSII in situ in different thylakoid membrane regions as well as the advantages of combining sophisticated time-resolved spectroscopic experiments with atomic level computational modeling which includes the effects of molecular dynamics.