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Photosynth Res. 2017 Sep;133(1-3):5-15. doi: 10.1007/s11120-016-0333-z. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Evolution of the Z-scheme of photosynthesis: a perspective.

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Department of Plant Biology, Department of Biochemistry, and Center of Biophysics & Quantitative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.
Department of Chemistry, Chemical Biological Centre, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Biology, Molecular Cell Biology, Lund University, Sölvegatan 35, 22362, Lund, Sweden.


The concept of the Z-scheme of oxygenic photosynthesis is in all the textbooks. However, its evolution is not. We focus here mainly on some of the history of its biophysical aspects. We have arbitrarily divided here the 1941-2016 period into three sub-periods: (a) Origin of the concept of two light reactions: first hinted at, in 1941, by James Franck and Karl Herzfeld; described and explained, in 1945, by Eugene Rabinowitch; and a clear hypothesis, given in 1956 by Rabinowitch, of the then available cytochrome experiments: one light oxidizing it and another reducing it; (b) Experimental discovery of the two light reactions and two pigment systems and the Z-scheme of photosynthesis: Robert Emerson's discovery, in 1957, of enhancement in photosynthesis when two light beams (one in the far-red region, and the other of shorter wavelengths) are given together than when given separately; and the 1960 scheme of Robin Hill & Fay Bendall; and.


Bessel Kok; Eugene Rabinowitch; Horst T. Witt; James Franck; Louis N. M. Duysens; Robert Emerson; Robin Hill; The Z-scheme of photosynthesis

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