- Make ATP
- Split water to get electrons
The ATP is made by ATP synthase, which is found in almost all organisms on Earth. The water splitting is accomplished by an enzyme called photosystem II, pictured above. It’s possible you’ve performed a water splitting experiment in a chemistry class: you run electricity through water and produce hydrogen and oxygen gas. But you have to use electricity to do it, and that’s a lot of effort. Plants do it just by hanging around in the sunlight and getting watered!
The mechanism of photosystem II, which is important for life on Earth as we know it, is not fully understood yet. If you want to do science, how about figure it out for us, Clear Scientists?