Student News

Molecule of the Week: January 3

Communications – January 3, 2011

Chlorophyll f

Chlorophyll, the photosynthetic molecule that has helped make Earth an oxygen rich planet has been known to exist in four varieties: chlorophyll a, b, c and d.  In science, 2010 was notable as researchers discovered another version found in Australian stromatolites (knobby ocean dwelling rocks and algae) that has been termed chlorophyll f.

Possessing a formyl group on one of the chlorophyll’s carbons, chlorophyll f is unique in its ability to absorb light at 706 nanometers, just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum.  Which type of habitat, shady or sunny, would you suspect organisms with chlorophyll f to thrive?

Citations:  2010_Science_News_of_the_Year_Molecules