Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 124, Issue 3, pp 243–247 | Cite as

Albert W. Frenkel (1919–2015): photosynthesis research pioneer, much-loved teacher, and scholar

  • GovindjeeEmail author
  • Susanna Frenkel


Albert W. Frenkel, a pioneer in photosynthesis research, and discoverer of photophosphorylation in photosynthetic bacteria, is remembered here by two of us: Govindjee (historical corner editor of photosynthesis research) and Susanna Frenkel (SF; Albert Frenkel’s daughter, who provided most of the family information).


Photophosphorylation Allan Brown Robert Emerson Albert Frenkel Hans Gaffron Martin Kamen Fritz Lipman Cornelis van Niel 



We have drawn information on Frenkel from family archives, from an article on him written by one of us (SF): and from Frenkel (1993).


  1. Brown AH, Frenkel AW (1953a) Photosynthesis. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 4:23–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown AH, Frenkel AW (1953b) Photosynthesis. Annu Rev Biochem 22:423–458CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Cost K, Bolton JR, Frenkel AW (1969) Comparative decay characteristics of the light generated free radical in chromatophores and chloroplasts. Photochem Photobiol 10:251–258CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Frenkel AW (1941) Photosynthesis with radioactive carbon, and the distribution of the intermediate products in the plant cell. Plant Physiol 16:654–655CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Frenkel AW (1952) Hydrogen evolution by the flagellate green alga Chlamydomonas moewusii. Arch Biochem Biophys 38:219–230CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Frenkel AW (1954) Light-induced phosporylation by cell-free preparations of photosynthetic bacteria. J Am Chem Soc 76:5568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Frenkel AW (1956) Photophosphorylation of adenine nucleotides by cell-free preparations of purple bacteria. J Biol Chem 222:823–834PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Frenkel AW (1958) Simultaneous reduction of diphosphopyridine nucleotide and oxidation of reduced flavin mononucleotide by illuminated bacterial chromatophores. J Am Chem Soc 80:34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  10. Frenkel AW (1959b) Light-induced reactions of bacterial chromatophoress and their relation to photosynthesis. Annu Rev Plant Physiol I0:53–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  18. Frenkel AW, Rieger S (1951) Photoreduction in algae. Nature 167:1030CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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  20. Frenkel AW, Jahnke LS, Petryka ZJ (1981) Photooxidation and photoreduction reaction sensitized by hematoporphyrin. In: Rodgers AJ, Powers EL (eds) Oxygen and oxy radicals chemistry and biology. Academic Press, New York, pp 634–635Google Scholar
  21. Gest H, Blankenship RE (2004) Time line of discoveries: anoxygenic bacterial photosynthesis. Photosynth Res 80:59–70CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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  24. Govindjee (2004) Robert Emerson and Eugene Rabinowitch: understanding photosynthesis. In: Hoddeson Lillian (ed) “No Boundaries: University of Illinois Vignettes”, Chapter 12. University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, pp 181–194Google Scholar
  25. Hickman DD, Frenkel AW (1959) The structure of Rhodospirillum rubrurn. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 6:277–284CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Hickman DD, Frenkel AW (1965a) Observations on the structure of Rhodospirillum molischianum. J Cell Biol 25:261–278CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Hickman DD, Frenkel AW (1965b) Observations on the structure of Rhodospirillum rubrum. J Cell Biol 25:279–291CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Highkin HR, Frenkel AW (1962) Studies on the growth and metabolism of a barley mutant lacking chlorophyll b. Plant Physiol 27:814–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hill JF, Govindjee (2014) The controversy over the minimum quantum requirement for oxygen evolution. Photosynth Res 122:97–112CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Jahnke LS, Frenkel AW (1975) Evidence for the photochemical production of superoxide mediated by saponified chlorophyll. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 66:144–150CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Jahnke LS, Frenkel AW (1978) Photooxidation of epinephrine sensitized by methylene-blue. Evidence for the involvement of singlet oxygen and of superoxide. Photochem Photobiol 28:517–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kamen MD (1985) Radiant science, dark politics: a memoir of the nuclear age. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  33. Pratt DC, Frenkel AW (1959) Studies on nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis of Rhodospirillum rubrum. Plant Physiol 34:333–337CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Rothstein A, Frenkel A, Larabee C (1948) The relationship of the cell surface to metabolism III. Certain characteristics of the uranium complex with cell surface groups of yeast. J Cell Comp Physiol 32:261–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ruben S, Frenkel AW, Kamen MD (1942) Some experiments on chlorophyll and photosynthesis using radioactive tracers. J Phys Chem 46:710–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology, Department of Biochemistry, and Center of Biophysics & Quantitative BiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.BemidjiUSA

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