The complex that conquered the land

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Science  25 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6353, pp. 752
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4191

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Photosystem II (PSII) is the powerhouse of all organisms that perform oxygen-generating photosynthesis. It uses sunlight energy to extract electrons and protons from water, which fuel their metabolism. It also provides the oxygen needed by most organisms to extract energy from biomass. On page 815 of this issue, Su et al. (1) report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the largest PSII complex of vascular plants at 2.7-Å resolution. The structure shows the details and overall organization of 28 proteins, 203 pigments, 34 lipids, and 8 other cofactors, providing the basis for understanding the functional behavior of the PSII supercomplex.