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Chlorophylls, Symmetry, Chirality, and Photosynthesis

SFI Tetrapyrrole Laboratory, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, School of Chemistry, 152-160 Pearse Street, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Medicinal Chemistry, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Structure and Conformation of Photosynthetic Pigments and Related Compounds. Part 14.  Dedicated to Professor Horst Senger.
Symmetry 2014, 6(3), 781-843;
Received: 28 July 2014 / Revised: 31 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supramolecular Chirality)
Chlorophylls are a fundamental class of tetrapyrroles and function as the central reaction center, accessory and photoprotective pigments in photosynthesis. Their unique individual photochemical properties are a consequence of the tetrapyrrole macrocycle, the structural chemistry and coordination behavior of the phytochlorin system, and specific substituent pattern. They achieve their full potential in solar energy conversion by working in concert in highly complex, supramolecular structures such as the reaction centers and light-harvesting complexes of photobiology. The biochemical function of these structures depends on the controlled interplay of structural and functional principles of the apoprotein and pigment cofactors. Chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls are optically active molecules with several chiral centers, which are necessary for their natural biological function and the assembly of their supramolecular complexes. However, in many cases the exact role of chromophore stereochemistry in the biological context is unknown. This review gives an overview of chlorophyll research in terms of basic function, biosynthesis and their functional and structural role in photosynthesis. It highlights aspects of chirality and symmetry of chlorophylls to elicit further interest in their role in nature. View Full-Text
Keywords: chlorophylls; tetrapyrroles; porphyrinoids; photosynthesis; chirality; symmetry; solar energy conversion chlorophylls; tetrapyrroles; porphyrinoids; photosynthesis; chirality; symmetry; solar energy conversion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Senge, M.O.; Ryan, A.A.; Letchford, K.A.; MacGowan, S.A.; Mielke, T. Chlorophylls, Symmetry, Chirality, and Photosynthesis. Symmetry 2014, 6, 781-843.

AMA Style

Senge MO, Ryan AA, Letchford KA, MacGowan SA, Mielke T. Chlorophylls, Symmetry, Chirality, and Photosynthesis. Symmetry. 2014; 6(3):781-843.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Senge, Mathias O., Aoife A. Ryan, Kristie A. Letchford, Stuart A. MacGowan, and Tamara Mielke. 2014. "Chlorophylls, Symmetry, Chirality, and Photosynthesis" Symmetry 6, no. 3: 781-843.

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