TCBG Seminar

And Then There Was Light - How Nature Harvests Sun Light

Dr. Melih Sener
Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL

Thursday, March 31, 2005
2:00 pm (CT)
1227 Beckman Institute


Harvesting of light through photosynthesis is the primary source of energy in our biosphere. Light harvesting pigment-protein complexes found in nature contain up to hundreds of chlorophyll and carotenoid molecules that absorb light, transfer the electronic excitation between them and funnel it to ultimately to a protein called the reaction center. There , the excitation energy is utilized to transfer an electron across the membrane generating a trans-membrane voltage difference. The sequence of processes realize an increasingly more stable forms of energy storage. The structure of the light harvesting system and the principles underlying its design will be discussed in the lecture for two classes of photosynthetic bacteria, purple and cyano bacteria.

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