Unraveling the Photosystem I reaction center: A history, or the sum of many efforts

Petra Fromme, Paul Mathis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This article describes some aspects of the history of the discovery of the structure and function of Photosystem I (PS I). PS I is the largest and most complex membrane protein for which detailed structural and functional information is now available. This short historical review cannot cover all the work that has been carried out over more than 50 years, nor provide a deep insight into the structure and function of this protein complex. Instead, this review focuses on more personal views of some of the key discoveries, starting in the 1950s with the discovery of the existence of two photoreactions in oxygenic photosynthesis, and ending with the race towards an atomic structure of PS I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2004


  • Bernard Lagoutte
  • Hervé Bottin
  • Klaus Brettel
  • Norbert Krauß
  • Olaf Klukas
  • Paul Mathis
  • Petra Fromme
  • Photosystem I
  • crystal structure
  • crystallization
  • electron transfer
  • light harvesting
  • membrane protein
  • microgravity
  • photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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