Yale Researchers Get Closest Look Yet at Key Enzyme in Photosynthesis

At Yale’s West Campus, researchers are zooming in on Photosystem II, an enzyme central to photosynthesis that could reveal clues for building synthetic solar fuel catalysts.

Photosynthesis—how plants and certain microorganisms use sunlight to synthesize their food—is a process scientists have long sought to mimic for creating more efficient solar fuel catalysts. Thanks to the work of Gary Brudvig and Christopher Gisriel’s research team, scientists are now closer to understanding a key enzyme’s role in photosynthesis and how it may contain the design principles for a new generation of synthetic solar fuel catalysts.

Cryo-electron microscopy made it possible, offering the closest look ever at the Photosystem II enzyme in its active, mature form.

Read more about this technology and how it led to this breakthrough at Yale’s West Campus.

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