BRC researchers have discovered a previously hidden process of photosynthesis

Jan 30, 2023 | News

The Biological Research Centre, Szeged (BRC Szeged), the University of Szeged (USZ) and ELI-ALPS Laser Research Institute (Szeged) have published a joint paper in the Royal Society journal Open Biology, revealing an interesting phenomenon in photosystem-II.

Photosystem-II (PSII) is the engine of life. It uses solar energy to split water to oxygen, released to the atmosphere, protons, utilized for ATP synthesis, and electrons, warranting the reducing equivalents to fix CO2. Recent studies revealed light-induced reorganizations in PSII, which resemble those observed earlier in its bacterial ancestor reaction center. In both systems, sustained illumination leads to the formation of light-adapted states, with substantially stabilised charge separations. Data point to the role of a series of complex dielectric relaxation processes, associated with intense local electric fields, which might be ‘stored’ in polarizable compounds, accounting for the observed protein memory effects.

The BRC and USZ scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the ELI-ALPS, continue their work to uncover the underlying physical and molecular mechanisms, which may shed light on the role of stationary and transient electric fields in natural and artificial photochemical reaction centers.


Congratulations to all research participants for the publication!