Friday, January 23, 2009
Building the Photosynthesis Engine III:Light Reactions
The light reactions in photosynthesis are where light is absorbed and converted to a flow of electrons. The electrons are used to make energy rich compounds for the rest of photosynthesis. It is also the step where oxygen is produced.
This week I have worked out a way to simulate the light reactions in which all the parts of the model are embedded in a lipid bilayer as in nature (more or less). The model is more detailed model than my more general simulation of the whole photosynthesis process in that the parts are meant to sense each other and communicate with each other. Here both photosystems are glowing purple because they both have absorbed photons. The structures in red or purple are parts of the electron transport systems, the red indicating the passage of electrons.
The user will eventually be able to treat this simulation as a work bench adding or removing parts and putting them in the right order to get their own working model of the light reactions. The parts interact via a series of sensor and listen events. This seems to be an easier approach to implement than the one used in my more general simulation where all the parts are linked into one large object. Again the idea is not to mimic every single detail of the light reactions but allow the user to explore the steps in the light reaction.