Can Somone answer a bit bizarre question which is that in light reaction . Photosystem uses enzyme to split the water up to hydrogen ions and electrons and oxygen.But is this water-splitting enzyme in or out of the photosystem 2(PS II)? Great thanks

  • $\begingroup$ where have you looked for answers to this question? Can you give a bit more background? $\endgroup$ – Vance L Albaugh May 29 '17 at 11:34

The name of the protein (actually, three proteins) you are referring to is Oxygen-evolving Complex.

And yes, it is part of Photosystem II.

According to Lodish (2002):

An Oxygen-Evolving Complex in PSII Regenerates P680: The splitting of H2O, which provides the electrons for reduction of P680+, is catalyzed by a three-protein complex, the oxygen-evolving complex, located on the luminal surface of the thylakoid membrane. The oxygen-evolving complex contains four manganese (Mn) ions as well as bound Cl- and Ca2+ ions (see Figure 16-44); this is one of the very few cases in which Mn plays a role in a biological system.

You can see the complex in this diagram of PSII, also from Lodish:

enter image description here

Figure 16-44: In a reaction center, two integral proteins, D1 and D2, bind the special-pair chlorophylls (P680), two other chlorophylls (Chl), two pheophytins (Pheo), one Fe atom, and two quinones (QA and QB). All of these are used for electron transport following light absorption by an associated lightharvesting complex (see Figure 16-42). Three extrinsic proteins (33, 23, and 17 kDa) comprise the oxygen-evolving complex; they bind the four Mn2+ ions and the Ca2+ and Cl− ions that function in the splitting of H2O, and they maintain the environment essential for high rates of O2 evolution.

As you can see, all proteins coloured green in the image above are part of PSII. However, since the oxygen-evolving complex is made of extrinsic proteins, it can be easily separated from the rest of PSII:

The Mn ions together with the three extrinsic proteins can be removed from the reaction center by treatment with solutions of concentrated salts; this abolishes O2 formation but does not affect light absorption or the initial stages of electron transport.


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  • $\begingroup$ Greatly Thanks!By the way can u cite this information for me? $\endgroup$ – Uriah May 31 '17 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "cite this information"? The reference is at the end of the answer. $\endgroup$ – user24284 May 31 '17 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Oops sorry I forgot to see that $\endgroup$ – Uriah May 31 '17 at 11:59

I too have just been studying Photosynthesis :) From what I understand the PSII is the enzyme that splits water. Water splitting occurs in PSII. In that case what you could further ask is where in this big enzyme does it take place? Basically the PSII is composed of many protein-complexes and pigments. One of them known as the oxygen-evolving complex (you can read more here: https://www.google.co.in/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=3AgsWd2VMunn8AezuYqYAQ#q=oxygen+evolving+complex) is the site in PSII where the water splitting takes place. You can also study about photosynthesis here (https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/photosynthesis-in-plants). Hope it helped!

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