Oxidating a plant


We have known for many years how electrons are transported in the photosynthetic light reac- tions,but we have very limited information on how the protons are transported.

Protons must be transported away from the catalytic centre, otherwise the oxidation reaction cannot occur with full efficiency.

A strong reduction of chloroplastic and cytosolic Cu, Zn‐SODs by Cd was found, and to a lesser extent of Fe‐SOD, while Mn‐SOD was only affected by the highest Cd concentrations.

Catalase isoenzymes responded differentially, the most acidic isoforms being the most sensitive to Cd treatment.

If we can fully understand the mechanism of water oxidation and its regulation, we can use that knowledge to create artificial pho- tosynthetic devices to produce clean and renewable energy.

Plants produce oxygen that is released to the atmosphere. Photosystem II (PSII) uses sunlight to split water, an ener- getically unfavourable reaction in which electrons and protons are extracted from water and oxygen is released as a by-product.

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The goal of this project is to understand how plants can oxidize water to molecular oxygen, electrons and protons.

If water oxidation is hampered, then donor side photoinhibition occurs and the whole photosynthetic machinery will be destroyed.



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