Chlorophyll, molecular model

Chlorophyll, molecular model

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Credit: FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chlorophyll molecule. Computer model of the photoreceptor molecule chlorophyll a (C55.H72.Mg.N4.O5) found in green plants. The atoms are colour-coded (key at lower right): carbon (C, grey); oxygen (O, red); hydrogen (H, yellow); magnesium (Mg, green); and nitrogen (N, blue). The central part of the molecule is the porphyrin ring (top) surrounding a central magnesium atom. It is the arrangement of the electrons in this ring that traps the energy in sunlight during photosynthesis. Chlorophyll a is the major type. The minor type, chlorophyll b, has a CHO group replacing a CH3 group (top, white inset circles).

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