Biology as Poetry: Bioenergetics

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Reaction Center

Enzyme associated with theChlorophyll molecules, within photosystems, that are associated with primary electron acceptors.

The reaction center chlorophyll, with the assistance of the reaction center, passes on electrons to the primary electron acceptor. All other chlorophyll molecules within photosystems transfer only the energy associated with absorbed photons, that is with excited electrons exciting electrons found in adjacent chlorophyll molecules. Once electrons in the reaction center chlorophyll come to be excited then those electrons are transferred to the primary electron acceptor.

The reaction center chlorophyll differs from other chlorophyll molecules found within a photosystem only in terms of its physical proximity to the reaction center and primary electron acceptor. The primary electron acceptor, by contrast, truly is a "cholorophyll" molecule that differs chemically from the other chlorophyll molecules found in photosystems (see pheophytin for further discussion of this latter point).

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