Structure and Function of Photosynthetic Reaction Centres
Extensive biochemical, biophysical, molecular biological and structural studies on a wide range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms has revealed common features of their reaction centres where light induced charge separation and stabilization occurs. There is little doubt that all reaction centres have evolved from a common ancestor and have been optimized to maximum efficiency. As such they provide principles that can be used as a blueprint for developing artificial photo-electrochemical catalytic systems to generate solar fuels. This chapter summarises the common features of the organization of cofactors, electron transfer pathways and protein environments of reaction centres of anoxygenic and oxygenic phototrophs. In particular, the latest molecular details derived from X-ray crystallography are discussed in context of the specific catalytic functions of the Type I and Type II reaction centres.