The research areas of this division include three disciplines, structural biology, functional analysis, and artificial photosynthesis, all focusing on the structure and function of proteins involved in oxygenic photosynthesis and the creation of artificial photosynthesis systems based on naturally evolved photosynthetic reactions. The structural biology group aims to resolve the molecular structure of the two photosystems at the atomic level by using high-energy X-rays at Spring8 and the X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) at SACLA to gain a deeper understanding of high-efficiency light utilization and the light-induced water-splitting reaction mechanism. The functional analysis group studies the function of proteins involved in photosynthetic electron transport using molecular biological, biochemical, and biophysical approaches to generate photosynthetic organisms that are able to grow in high stress environments. This group also tries to produce devices that generate electrical power or hydrogen, using photosynthetic proteins. The artificial photosynthesis research group aims to create an artificial photosynthesis system by mimicking the structure of the oxygen-evolving complex of photosynthetic organisms. This group is interested in developing new transition metal complexes that efficiently split water into protons and oxygen using light energy.
Research Sector of Structural Biology for Photosynthesis
Research Sector of Functional Biology for Photosynthesis
Research Sector of Artificial Photosynthesis System
Research Sector of Evolution and Structural Biology