About the Undergraduate SUN Project

The Undergraduate SUN Project is funded by the National Science Foundation. Participants include UW-Madison , UW-Milwaukee, Madison College, Milwaukee School of Engineering and Madison College. The original IES-funded SUN Project materials are being adapted for use in a variety of science courses at these schools including biochemistry, bioengineering applications and a physics course for non-majors on energy and the environment.

In addition, the materials described below were developed anew for this project.

 

The SUN Chloroplast E-book allows one to explore the basic molecular organization, structures and functions of the chloroplast simultaneously in the context of three different representations:

 

  • a painting of the molecular architecture of a cross-section of the chloroplast by Professor David Goodsell of Scripps Research Institute
  • a black and white schematic of the electron transport chain
  • nested trays with moveable components

View an introduction to the SUN Chloroplast E-book.

Interior pages explore each major protein complex individually in the context of the nested trays, a FLASH-based schematic and an interactive jmol of the protein complex structure. Explore a beta version of the SUN Chloroplast E-book and use the “Send Feedback” tab to comment as this resource is developed.

Physical Models of Protein Complexes in Photosynthesis were also developed by the Undergraduate SUN Project to be used in conjunction with the SUN Chloroplast E-book. They highlight common structures within the two photosystems involved in photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, higher plants and some algae.

Above: Physical models of photosystem I (PSI), photosystem II (PSII), and cytochrome b6f can be used with the SUN Chloroplast E-book. Models of PSI and PSII highlight common backbone structures (A). PSI and PSII are shown in (B) in the context of the multimeric structure. View C shows the electron carriers in PSI and PSII. Chlorophylls are green, pheophytins are purple, quinones are orange and iron-sulfur clusters are orange and yellow.

Above: Physical models of photosystem I (PSI), photosystem II (PSII), and cytochrome b6f can be used with the SUN Chloroplast E-book. Models of PSI and PSII highlight common backbone structures (A). PSI and PSII are shown in (B) in the context of the multimeric structure. View C shows the electron carriers in PSI and PSII. Chlorophylls are green, pheophytins are purple, quinones are orange and iron-sulfur clusters are orange and yellow.

Above: Physical models of cytochrome bc1 and cytochrome b6f highlight their commonalities.

Above: Physical models of cytochrome bc1 and cytochrome b6f highlight their commonalities.

Models of Cytochrome b6f involved in Photosynthesis and Cytochrome bc1 in Cellular Respiration highlight the common arrangement of electron carriers in both of these proton pumps. It is also interesting that each has a helical arm that interacts with the opposite monomer in the dimeric structure.

For more information, please contact SUN Director Ann Batiza, Ph.D. at batiza@msoe.edu or (414) 277-2825.

This research was funded by NSF grant 1044898 to MSOE. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of the National Science Foundation.

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