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The Transition From Anoxygenic to Oxygenic Photosynthesis and How It Changed the Earth

Presenter: Robert Blankenship, Washington University in St. Louis
When: May 27, 2003 12AM PDT

The buildup of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere that began about 2.2 BYA was one of the most important events in the history of the planet. While there is consensus that this increase in free oxygen was the result of oxygenic photosynthesis, very little is known about the evolutionary events that had to take place for this event to take place. Before oxygenic photosynthesis was invented there was a more primitive anoxygenic, or non-oxygen-evolving form of photosynthesis. This talk will bring together a variety of lines of evidence, including comparative biochemistry, structural biology and genomics to try to gain insights into how this transition took place.

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