Oxygenic photosynthesis is the process that powers life on earth. It has shaped the atmosphere by CO2 consumption and O2 production. Today oxygenic photosynthesis also serves as a blueprint for the large-scale production of non-fossil fuels and high-value products, using merely water and CO2 as raw materials. By closely interfaced lecture periods and lab experiments, the following topics are addressed:
THE BASICS: Basic mechanisms of the photosynthetic light and dark reactions; evolution and current types of photosynthetic organisms; global role and climate change.
METHODS: Purification of functional photosynthetic membrane particles and protein complexes, biophysical and biochemical methods in photosynthesis research, incl. oxygen polarography, delayed fluorescence after laser-pulse excitation, IR (infrared) spectroscopy, high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), cyclic voltammetry of artificial-photosynthesis catalyst.
SPECIAL TOPIC: Improving photosynthesis: What are the limitations and how could they be overcome? [OR/AND] Following Nature's lead - Artificial photosynthesis.