A new textbook written by SBCS’s Professor Alexander Ruban will be published by Wiley later this year. This book offers an insight into the biophysical logic of nature using the example of the photosynthetic membrane of higher plants. It explains the molecular design of the complex photosynthetic machinery that performs a sequence of primary energy transformation events. The material is presented within the context of gradual explanation of complexity, historical development and multidisciplinary character. Such a text is long overdue, since it does not cover the whole of photosynthesis but focuses on its light-harvesting phase – a well-structured and regulated process that ensures a phenomenal flexibility in its adaptations to light. The book explains the essential features of life, one of the most important being the energy requirement that is fulfilled almost solely by sunlight.The advantages and specific physico-chemical features of the nanoscale level of the photosynthetic membrane organisation are described and the general make-up is presented, setting the scene and preparing the reader for the description of numerous methods of investigation of the photosynthetic membrane structure and functions, light harvesting principles, atomic structures, the macrostructural organisation of light–harvesting antennae within photosystems, the dynamic nature of light harvesting proteins and their adaptations to light. This book also contains a chapter considering the potential of the educational and practical applications of the knowledge obtained in studies of the photosynthetic membrane.The author addresses this book, first of all, to the final year undergraduate students of various biology specialisations. Therefore he has directed all effort to adapting it to different levels of training in chemistry and physics. As the level of complexity gradually increases towards the end of the book it becomes relevant to postgraduate students and for a broader audience of those involved in photosynthesis research as well as bioenergetic membranes in general. With this book the author hopes to awake the interest of a broad audience of students, scientists and those who are attracted to the phenomenon of energy transformation in living nature.
Ruban, A. (2012) The Photosynthetic Membrane: Molecular Mechanisms and Biophysics of Light Harvesting. Wiley, Chichester, ISBN: 978-1-1199-6053-9.
Release date:19th November 2012