Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 45 (3), 351-7

Manganese and the Evolution of Photosynthesis

Affiliations

Manganese and the Evolution of Photosynthesis

Woodward W Fischer et al. Orig Life Evol Biosph.

Abstract

Oxygenic photosynthesis is the most important bioenergetic event in the history of our planet-it evolved once within the Cyanobacteria, and remained largely unchanged as it was transferred to algae and plants via endosymbiosis. Manganese plays a fundamental role in this history because it lends the critical redox behavior of the water-oxidizing complex of photosystem II. Constraints from the photoassembly of the Mn-bearing water-oxidizing complex fuel the hypothesis that Mn(II) once played a key role as an electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis prior to the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Here we review the growing body of geological and geochemical evidence from the Archean and Paleoproterozoic sedimentary records that supports this idea and demonstrates that the oxidative branch of the Mn cycle switched on prior to the rise of oxygen. This Mn-oxidizing phototrophy hypothesis also receives support from the biological record of extant phototrophs, and can be made more explicit by leveraging constraints from structural biology and biochemistry of photosystem II in Cyanobacteria. These observations highlight that water-splitting in photosystem II evolved independently from a homodimeric ancestral type II reaction center capable of high potential photosynthesis and Mn(II) oxidation, which is required by the presence of homologous redox-active tyrosines in the modern heterodimer. The ancestral homodimer reaction center also evolved a C-terminal extension that sterically precluded standard phototrophic electron donors like cytochrome c, cupredoxins, or high-potential iron-sulfur proteins, and could only complete direct oxidation of small molecules like Mn(2+), and ultimately water.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 8 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 9;102(32):11131-6 - PubMed
    1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 9;110(28):11238-43 - PubMed
    1. Chem Rev. 2006 Nov;106(11):4455-83 - PubMed
    1. Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 1989;53:859-71 - PubMed
    1. Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 Mar;23(3):94-7 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback