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English Caption: 

An international team of scientists, including researchers from DESY, has caught a central step of photosynthesis in action for the first time. The team led by Prof. Petra Fromme from Arizona State University used the world's most powerful X-ray flashlight at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the U.S. to record still frames of a molecular complex called photosystem II as it splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, a process that maintains the oxygen in earth's atmosphere.

The photosystem II cycle has four steps. There is a large conformation change between status S1 and status S3, as shown by the new investigations. (Credit: Shibom Basu/Arizona State University)

Learn more in the press release "Scientists Watch Photosynthesis in Action."