The following images attempt to illustrate
the role played by Photosystem II during photosynthesis. These images are intended to emphasize
the key players and the processes by which they react. Clicking on each of the
thumbnail images will bring up a larger, labeled version of the
see the Flash movie for the following sequence of images,
Photosystem II is made up of many different proteins and pigment molecules.
At the center lies a special pair of chlorophyll molecules known as P680, along with the oxygen-evolving complex.
Surrounding the reaction center is the light harvesting complex (LHC).
Photons of light are absorbed by chlorophyll molecules in the LHC.
Energy absorbed from the photons is used to move electrons from P680 to a mobile carrier that transfers them to the next complex in the photosynthesis chain.
The electrons that are lost from P680 are replaced by splitting water molecules at the oxygen-evolving complex.
For every two water molecules that are split, one molecule of O2, the oxygen we breathe, is produced.