This landmark collective work introduces the physical, chemical, and biological principles underlying photosynthesis: light absorption, excitation energy transfer, and charge separation. It begins with an introduction to properties of various pigments, and the pigment proteins in plant, algae, and bacterial systems. It addresses the underlying physics of light harvesting and key spectroscopic methods, including data analysis. It discusses assembly of the natural system, its energy transfer properties, and regulatory mechanisms. It also addresses light-harvesting in artificial systems and the impact of photosynthesis on our environment. The chapter authors are amongst the field’s world recognized experts.
Chapters are divided into five main parts, the first focused on pigments, their properties and biosynthesis, and the second section looking at photosynthetic proteins, including light harvesting in higher plants, algae, cyanobacteria, and green bacteria. The third part turns to energy transfer and electron transport, discussing modeling approaches, quantum aspects, photoinduced electron transfer, and redox potential modulation, followed by a section on experimental spectroscopy in light harvesting research. The concluding final section includes chapters on artificial photosynthesis, with topics such as use of cyanobacteria and algae for sustainable energy production.
Robert Croce is Head of the Biophysics Group and full professor in biophysics of photosynthesis/energy at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
Rienk van Grondelle is full professor at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
Herbert van Amerongen is full professor of biophysics in the Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences at Wageningen University, where he is also director of the MicroSpectroscopy Research Facility.
Ivo van Stokkum is associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Sciences, at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Building the Light Harvesting Apparatus: Pigments 1. Pigments: General Properties and Biosynthesis 2. Chlorophylls in a Protein Environment: How to Calculate Their Spectral and Redox Properties (From MO to DFT) 3. Carotenoids: Electronic States and Biological Functions Part 2: Building the Light Harvesting Apparatus: Proteins 4. Light Harvesting in Higher Plants and Green Algae 5. Light Harvesting in Cyanobacteria: The Phycobilisomes 6. The Purple Bacterial Photosynthetic Apparatus 7. Light Harvesting in Green Bacteria 8. Light Harvesting Complexes in Chlorophyll c-containing Algae 9. Reaction Centers: Structure and Mechanism 10. Organization of Photosynthetic Membrane Proteins into Supercomplexes 11. Photoprotective Excess Energy Dissipation Part 3: Light Harvesting Systems in Action: Energy Transfer and Electron Transport 12. The Exciton Concept 13. Modeling of Energy Transfer in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting 14. Quantum Aspects of Photosynthetic Energy Transfer 15. Photoinduced Electron Transfer in the Reaction Centers 16. Modulation of the Redox Potentials Part 4: Light Harvesting Systems in Action: Spectroscopy 17. Basic Optical Spectroscopy for Light Harvesting 18. Advanced Spectroscopy: Ultrafast and 2D 19. Experimental Evidence of Quantum Coherence in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting 20. Systems Biophysics: Global and Target Analysis of Light Harvesting and Photochemical Quenching in vivo Part 5: Artificial and Natural Photosynthesis 21. Light Harvesting, Photoregulation. and Photoprotection in Selected Artificial Photosynthetic Systems 22. Light to Useful Charge in Nanostructured Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells 23. Chlorophyll Fluorescence as a Tool for Describing the Operation and Regulation of Photosynthesis in vivo 24. Harvesting Sunlight with Cyanobacteria and Algae for Sustainable Production in a Bio-based Economy
Robert Croce is Head of the Biophysics Group and full professor in biophysics of photosynthesis/energy at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has well over 120 publications in peer-refereed journals, and is on the board of reviewing editors for Science magazine, and a member of the editorial board of BBA-Bioenergetics. She served as co-chair of the International Congress of Photosynthesis Research, and has been a member of the board of the International Society of Photosynthesis. She has been a grant reviewer on numerous panels, and is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) since 2013. She was an honorary professor in Molecular Photobiology at the University of Groningen from 2011-2014 and the Rosalind Franklin fellow (2006-2011).
Rienk van Grondelle studied physics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and in 1982 joined the faculty there, where he was appointed full professor in 1987. He built up a large research group and has made major contributions to elucidating the fundamental physical mechanisms that underlie light harvesting and charge separation. In 2009 he was awarded an Academy Professorship for his outstanding contributions to the understanding of the first stage in photosynthesis.
Herbert van Amerongen is full professor of Biophysics and Head of the Laboratory of Biophysics at Wageningen University, where he is also director of the MicroSpectroscopy Research Facility. He has served as an editor of the European Biophysics Journal and guest editor of a special issue of Photosynthesis Research, and was a member of the Dutch Platform of Physics Education. He was also co-organizer 17th European Conference on the Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules.
Ivo van Stokkum is associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Sciences, at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He earned his Master’s degree in experimental physics from the University of Nijmegen, and his Ph.D. in natural sciences from the University of Nijmegen.