Department of Plant Biology, Department of Biochemistry, and

Center of Biophysics and Computational Biology

Discoveries in Photosynthesis


Edited by

Govindjee, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, U.S.A.

J. Thomas Beatty, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Howard Gest, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.


John F. Allen, Queen Mary, University of London, London, U.K.

[Series Editor: GOVINDJEE (]


"Life Is Bottled Sunshine" [Wynwood Reade, Martyrdom of Man, 1924]. This inspired phrase is a four-word summary of the significance of photosynthesis for life on earth. The study of photosynthesis has attracted the attention of a legion of biologists, biochemists, chemists and physicists for over 200 years. Discoveries in Photosynthesis presents a sweeping overview of the history of photosynthesis investigations, and detailed accounts of research progress in all aspects of the most complex bioenergetic process in living organisms. Conceived of as a way of summarizing the history of research advances in photosynthesis as of millennium 2000, the book evolved into a majestic and encyclopedic saga involving all of the basic sciences. The book contains 111 papers, authored by 132 scientists from 19 countries. It includes overviews; timelines; tributes; minireviews on excitation energy transfer, reaction centers, oxygen evolution, light-harvesting and pigment-protein complexes, electron transport and ATP synthesis, techniques and applications, biogenesis and membrane architecture, reductive and assimilatory processes, transport, regulation and adaptation, Genetics, and Evolution; laboratories and national perspectives; and retrospectives that end in a list of photosynthesis symposia, books and conferences. Informal and formal photographs of scientists make it a wonderful book to have. This book is meant not only for the researchers and graduate students, but also for advanced undergraduates in Plant Biology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics and History of Science.


*Announcement (See pdf file)

*Contents (On this page)

*Contents (See pdf file)

*For further information, visit Springeronline site

*Note: Members of the ISPR(International Society of Photosynthesis Research) receive 25% discount

*Book Reviews

*Flyer of Volume 20 for USA (See pdf file)

Flyer of Volume 20 for ROW (Rest of the World) (See pdf file)


From the series editor


A personal tribute to an eminent photosynthesis researcher, Martin D. Kamen (1913-2002)

Biographies of the editors

Color Plates

I. Editorials

Celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the 1952 Conference on Photosynthesis (Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA), pp. 3

Celebrating the millennium - historical highlights of photosynthesis research, Part 1, pp. 5-10

Govindjee and Howard Gest

Celebrating the millennium - historical highlights of photosynthesis research, Part 2, pp. 11-21

Govindjee, J.T. Beatty and H. Gest

Celebrating the millennium - historical highlights of photosynthesis research, Part 3, pp. 23-35

Govindjee, J.F. Allen and J.T. Beatty


II. Overviews and Timelines

History of the word photosynthesis and evolution of its definition, pp. 39-42

H. Gest

In one era and out the other, pp. 43-50

J. Myers

Time line of discoveries: anoxygenic photosynthesis, pp. 51-62

H. Gest and R. E. Blankenship

Discoveries in oxygenic photosynthesis (1727-2003): a perspective, pp. 63-105

Govindjee and D. Krogmann


III. Tributes

And whose bright presence- an appreciation of Robert Hill and his reaction, pp. 109-112

D. A. Walker

The contributions of James Franck to photosynthesis research: a tribute, pp. 113-118

J. L. Rosenberg

Hydrogen metabolism of green algae: discovery and early research-a tribute to Hans Gaffron and his coworkers, pp. 119-129

P. H. Homann

Samuel Rubens contributions to research on photosynthesis and bacterial metabolism with radioactive carbon, pp. 131-137

H. Gest

Contributions of Henrik Lundegardh, pp. 139-144

A. W. D. Larkum


IV. Excitation Energy Transfer

Photosynthetic exciton theory in the 1960s, pp. 147-154

R. M. Pearlstein

Excitation energy trapping in anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria, pp. 155-163

J. Amesz and S. Neerken

Fluorescence lifetime, yield, energy transfer and spectrum in photosynthesis, 1950-1960, pp. 165-170

S.S. Brody

Visualization of excitation energy transfer processes in plants and algae, pp. 171-176

M. Mimuro

Plastoquinone redox control of chloroplast thylakoid protein phosphorylation and distribution of excitation energy between

photosystems: discovery, background, implications, pp. 177-186

J. F. Allen

Excitation transfer between photosynthetic units: the 1964 experiment, pp. 187-191

P. Joliot and A. Joliot


V. Reaction Centers

Research on photosynthetic reaction centers from 1932 to 1987, pp. 195-203

R. K. Clayton

Chlorophyll chemistry before and after crystals of photosynthetic reaction centers, pp. 205-212

J. Fajer

Electron donors and acceptors in the initial steps of photosynthesis in purple bacteria: a personal account, pp. 213-224

W. W. Parson

My daily constitutional in Martinsried, pp. 225-231

J. P. Allen

The two-electron gate in photosynthetic bacteria, pp. 233-236

A. Vermeglio

Steps on theway to building blocks, topologies, crystals and X-ray structural analysis of Photosystems I and II of water-oxidizing photosynthesis, pp. 237-259

H. T. Witt

The identification of the Photosystem II reaction center: a personal story, pp. 261-268

K. Satoh

The isolated Photosystem II reaction center: first attempts to directly measure the kinetics of primary charge separation, pp. 269-274

M. Seibert and M. R. Wasielewski

Discovery of pheophytin function in the photosynthetic energy conversion as the primary electron acceptor of Photosystem II, pp. 275-281

V. V. Klimov

Engine of life and big bang of evolution: a personal perspective, pp. 283-301

J. Barber

Role of bicarbonate at the acceptor side of Photosystem II, pp. 303-310

J. J. S. van Rensen

Unraveling the Photosystem I reaction center: a history, or the sum of many efforts, pp. 311-326

P. Fromme and P. Mathis

Photosystem I reaction center: past and future, pp. 327-340

N. Nelson and A. Ben-Shem

P430: a retrospective, 1971-2001, pp. 341-348

B. Ke


VI. Oxygen Evolution

Apparatus and mechanism of photosynthetic oxygen evolution: a personal perspective, pp. 351-370

G. Renger

Period-four oscillations of the flash-induced oxygen formation in photosynthesis, pp. 371-378

P. Joliot

Period four oscillations in chlorophyll a fluorescence, pp. 379-382

R. Delosme and P. Joliot

Chloride and calcium in Photosystem II: from effects to enigma, pp. 383-389

P. H. Homann

The bicarbonate effect, oxygen evolution, and the shadow of OttoWarburg, pp. 391-397

A. J. Stemler

Early indications for manganese oxidation state changes during photosynthetic oxygen production: a personal account, pp. 399-409

T. J. Wydrzynski


VII. Light-Harvesting and Pigment-Protein Complexes

Purple bacterial light-harvesting complexes: from dreams to structures, pp. 413-419

R. J. Cogdell, H. Hashimoto and A. T. Gardiner

The FMO protein, pp. 421-427

J. M.Olson

Physical separation of chlorophyll-protein complexes, pp. 429-434

T. Ogawa

How the chlorophyll-proteins got their names, pp. 435-442

E. L. Camm and B. R. Green

Phycobiliproteins and phycobilisomes: the early observations, pp. 443-451

N. Tandeau de Marsac


VIII. Electron Transport and ATP Synthesis

Discovery and characterization of electron transfer proteins in the photosynthetic bacteria, pp. 455-470

T. E. Meyer and M. A. Cusanovich

Membrane-anchored cytochrome c as an electron carrier in photosynthesis and respiration: past, present and future of an unexpected discovery, pp. 471-478

F. Daldal, M. Deshmukh and R. C. Prince

The Q-cycle - a personal perspective, pp. 479-499

A. R. Crofts

The isolation of a functional cytochromeb6 f complex: fromlucky encounter to rewarding experience, pp. 501-515

G. Hauska

Ironies in photosynthetic electron transport: a personal perspective, pp. 517-529

W. A. Cramer

The unfinished story of cytochromef, pp. 531-542

D. S. Bendall

Early research on the role of plastocyanin in photosynthesis, pp. 543-549

S. Katoh

Irrungen,Wirrungen? The Mehler reaction in relation to cyclic electron transport in C3 plants, pp. 551-559

U. Heber

Photophosphorylation and the chemiosmotic perspective, pp. 561-569

A. T. Jagendorf

Protons, proteins and ATP, pp. 571-595

W. Junge

On why thylakoids energize ATP formation using either delocalized or localized proton gradients - a Ca2+ mediated role in thylakoid stress responses, pp. 597-615

R. A. Dilley


IX. Techniques and Applications

The stopped-flow method and chemical intermediates in enzyme reactions - a personal essay, pp. 619-632

B. Chance

The chequered history of the development and use of simultaneous equations for the accurate determination of chlorophylls a and b, pp. 633-640

R. J. Porra

The contribution of photosynthetic pigments to the development of biochemical separation methods: 1900-1980, pp. 641-649

P.-A˚. Albertsson

On some aspects of photosynthesis revealed by photoacoustic studies: a critical evaluation, pp. 651-663

R. Delosme

The history of photosynthetic thermoluminescence, pp. 665-680

I. Vass

Trails of green alga hydrogen research - from Hans Gaffron to newfrontiers, pp. 681-689

A. Melis and T. Happe

Engineering the chloroplast encoded proteins of Chlamydomonas, pp. 691-699

L. Xiong and R. T. Sayre

Pictorial demonstrations of photosynthesis, pp. 701-705

R. P. Hangarter and H. Gest


X. Biogenesis and Membrane Architecture

Membrane biogenesis in anoxygenic photosynthetic prokaryotes, pp. 709-716

G. Drews and R. A. Niederman

Chloroplast structure: from chlorophyll granules to supra-molecular architecture of thylakoid membranes, pp. 717-728

L. A. Staehelin

Changing concepts about the distribution of Photosystems I and II between grana-appressed and stroma-exposed thylakoid membranes, pp. 729-736

J. M. Anderson

Chloroplasts in living cells and the string-of-grana concept of chloroplast structure revisited, pp. 737-744

S. G. Wildman A. M. Hirsch, S. J. Kirchanski and D. Spencer

From chloroplasts to chaperones: how one thing led to another, pp. 745-755

R. J. Ellis


XI. Reductive and Assimilatory Processes

Acceptance of the Enrico Fermi Award by Martin Kamen (April 24, 1996), pp. 757

Every dogma has its day: a personal look at carbon metabolism in photosynthetic bacteria, pp. 761-769

J. Ormerod

Research on carbon dioxide fixation in photosynthetic microorganisms (1971-present), pp. 771-788

F. R. Tabita

Nitrogen fixation by photosynthetic bacteria, pp. 789-792

P. W. Ludden and G. P. Roberts

Following the path of carbon in photosynthesis: a personal story, pp. 793-813

A. A. Benson

Mapping the carbon reduction cycle: a personal retrospective, pp. 815-832

J. A. Bassham

Chloroplasts in envelopes: CO2 fixation by fully functional intact chloroplasts, pp. 833-841

D. A. Walker

Along the trail from Fraction I protein to Rubisco (ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase), pp. 843-850

S. G. Wildman

The discovery of Rubisco activase - yet another story of serendipity, pp. 851-858

A. R. Portis Jr and M. E. Salvucci

The ferredoxin/thioredoxin system: from discovery to molecular structures and beyond, pp. 859-866

B. B. Buchanan, P. Schurmann, R. A. Wolosiuk and J.-P. Jacquot

How is ferredoxin-NADP reductase involved in the NADP photoreduction of chloroplasts?, pp. 867-873

M. Shin

C4 photosynthesis: discovery and resolution, pp. 875-880

M. D. Hatch

Crassulacean acid metabolism photosynthesis: working the night shift, pp. 881-893

C. C. Black and C. B. Osmond


XII. Transport, Regulation and Adaptation

Three decades in transport business: studies of metabolite transport in chloroplasts - a personal perspective, pp. 897-904

H.-W. Heldt

The present model for chlororelook forward to ation, pp. 905-909

P. Bennoun

Affixing the O to Rubisco: discovering the source of photorespiratory glycolate and its regulation, pp. 911-921

W. L. Ogren

Linking the xanthophyll cycle with thermal energy dissipation, pp. 923-930

B. Demmig-Adams

Photoinhibition - a historical perspective, pp. 931-958

N. Adir, H. Zer, S. Shochat and I. Ohad

A molecular understanding of complementary chromatic adaptation, pp. 959-967

A.R. Grossman

Anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria from extreme environments, pp. 969-983

M. T. Madigan

Light-induced behavioral responses (phototaxis) in prokaryotes, pp. 985-995

J. P. Armitage and K. J. Hellingwerf


XIII. Genetics

The early history of the genetics of photosynthetic bacteria: a personal account, pp. 999-1002

B. L. Marrs

Photosynthesis genes and their expression in Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1: a tribute to my students and associates, pp. 1003-1016

S. Kaplan

Regulation of photosystem synthesis in Rhodobacter capsulatus, pp. 1017-1024

C. Bauer

Photosynthesis research: advances through molecular biology - the beginnings, 1975-1980s and on . . ., pp. 1025-1045

L. Bogorad

The three genomes of Chlamydomonas, pp. 1047-1055

J.-D. Rochaix

History of chloroplast genomics, pp. 1057-1063

M. Sugiura

Gene-targeted and site-directed mutagenesis of photosynthesis genes in cyanobacteria, pp. 1065-1070

S. V. Shestakov


XIV. Evolution

Thinking about the evolution of photosynthesis, pp. 1073-1086

J. M. Olson and R. E. Blankenship

Evolutionary relationships among photosynthetic bacteria, pp. 1087-1097

R. S. Gupta

On the natural selection and evolution of the aerobic phototrophic bacteria, pp. 1099-1104

J. T. Beatty

Prochlorophyta - a matter of class distinctions, pp. 1105-1107

R. A. Lewin

The archaeal concept and the world it lives in: a retrospective, pp. 1109-1120

C. R. Woese


XV. Laboratories and National Perspectives

The Laboratory of Photosynthesis and its successors at Gif-sur-Yvette, France, pp. 1123-1131

Y. de Kouchkovsky

Photosynthesis and the Charles F. Kettering Research Laboratory, pp. 1133-1142

L. P. Vernon

Chlorophyll isolation, structure and function: major landmarks of the early history of research in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, pp. 1143-1157

A. A. Krasnovsky Jr

Studies of chlorophyll biosynthesis in Russia, pp. 1159-1165

O. B. Belyaeva

The beginnings of research on biophysics of photosynthesis and initial contributions made by Russian scientists to its development, pp. 1167-1180

A. Borisov

Photosynthesis research in Greece: a historical snapshot (1960-2001), pp. 1181-1187

G. C. Papageorgiou

Photosynthesis research in India: transition from yield physiology into molecular biology, pp. 1189-1204

A. S. Raghavendra, P. V. Sane and P. Mohanty

Photosynthesis research in the Peoples Republic of China, pp. 1205-1212

T.-Y. Kuang, C. Xu, L.-B. Li and Y.-K. Shen


XVI. Retrospectives

Celebrating forty years of the conference on Photosynthetic Mechanisms of Green Plants at Airlie House, Virginia, led by Bessel Kok and Andre Jagendorf, pp. 1215-1217

A list of personal perspectives with selected quotations, along with lists of tributes, historical notes, Nobel and Kettering awards related to photosynthesis, pp. 1219-1228

Govindjee and D. W. Krogmann

Passage of a young Indian physical chemist through the world of photosynthesis research at Urbana, Illinois, in the 1960s: a personal essay, pp. 1229-1239

A. K. Ghosh

The conference at Airlie House in 1963, pp. 1241-1248

H. J. Rurainski

A list of photosynthesis conferences and of edited books in photosynthesis, pp. 1249-1262



In memoriam

Author index

Photo index

Subject index

Name index

Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
2005, xxxi+6 Color Plates+1304 pp
ISBN 1-4020-3323-0 (HB), ISBN 1-4020-3324-9(e-book)

Volume 20 in the series: Advances in Photosynthesis, Govindjee, series editor.

Book Review of the Entire Series

P.O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Department of Plant Biology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

265 Morrill Hall

505 S. Goodwin Ave

Urbana, IL61801, USA



Phone: (217) 333-1794

Fax: (217) 244-7246 


Prepared by Govindjee and Nanguo Yuan

14 March 2006