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A Red-Shifted Chlorophyll

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Science  10 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5997, pp. 1318-1319
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191127

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Abstract

Chlorophylls are essential for light-harvesting and energy transduction in photosynthesis. Four chemically distinct varieties have been known for the past 60 years. Here we report isolation of a fifth, which we designate chlorophyll f. Its in vitro absorption (706 nanometers) and fluorescence (722 nanometers) maxima are red-shifted compared to all other chlorophylls from oxygenic phototrophs. On the basis of the optical, mass, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, we propose that chlorophyll f is [2-formyl]-chlorophyll a (C55H70O6N4Mg). This finding suggests that oxygenic photosynthesis can be extended further into the infrared region and may open associated bioenergy applications.

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