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Labs, Mathias; Rühle, Thilo; Leister, Dario (2016): The antimycin A-sensitive pathway of cyclic electron flow: from 1963 to 2015. In: Photosynthesis Research, Vol. 129, No. 3: pp. 231-238
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Abstract

Cyclic electron flow has puzzled and divided the field of photosynthesis researchers for decades. This mainly concerns the proportion of its overall contribution to photosynthesis, as well as its components and molecular mechanism. Yet, it is irrefutable that the absence of cyclic electron flow has severe effects on plant growth. One of the two pathways mediating cyclic electron flow can be inhibited by antimycin A, a chemical that has also widely been used to characterize the mitochondrial respiratory chain. For the characterization of cyclic electron flow, antimycin A has been used since 1963, when ferredoxin was found to be the electron donor of the pathway. In 2013, antimycin A was used to identify the PGRL1/PGR5 complex as the ferredoxin:plastoquinone reductase completing the last puzzle piece of this pathway. The controversy has not ended, and here, we review the history of research on this process using the perspective of antimycin A as a crucial chemical for its characterization.