The proteins that gather light for plant photosynthesis are embedded within cell membranes in a site called the thylakoid membrane (or the "photosynthetic membrane"). These proteins form the light harvesting antenna that feeds with energy a number of vital photosynthetic processes such as water oxidation and oxygen evolution, the pumping of protons across the thylakoid membranes coupled with the electron transport chain of the photosystems and cytochrome b6f complex, and ATP synthesis by ATP synthase utilizing the generated proton gradient.
The Photosynthetic Membrane: Molecular Mechanisms and Biophysics of Light Harvesting is an introduction to the fundamental design and function of the light harvesting photosynthetic membrane, one of the most common and most important structures of life. It describes the underlying structure of the membrane, the variety and roles of the membrane proteins, the atomic structures of light harvesting complexes and their macromolecular assemblies, the molecular mechanisms and dynamics of light harvesting and primary energy transformations, and the broad range of adaptations to different light environments. The book shows, using the example of the photosynthetic membrane, how complex biological structures utilize principles of chemistry and physics in order to carry out biological functions.
The Photosynthetic Membrane: Molecular Mechanisms of Light Harvesting will appeal to a wide audience of undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers working in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, plant science and bioengineering.
1 Life, Energy and Light 1
2 The Space of the Cell 7
3 The Photosynthetic Membrane: Outlook 17
4 Popular Methods and Approaches to Study Composition, Structure and Functions of the Photosynthetic Membrane 33
5 Primary Processes of the Light Phase of Photosynthesis: Principles of Light Harvesting in Antennae 65
6 Towards the Atomic Resolution Structure of Light Harvesting Antennae: On the Path of Discoveries 97
7 Structural Integration of Antennae within Photosystems 129
8 Dynamics of Light Harvesting Antenna: Spectroscopic Insights 151
9 Adaptations of the Photosynthetic Membrane to Light 187
10 What is in it for Plant, Biosphere and Mankind? 229
11 Conclusions 243
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