265 Morrill Hall
Office: (217) 333-1794
Fax: (217) 244-7246

Mail to: 265 Morrill Hall
University of Illinois, U-C
505 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801-3707
Lab Page
Curriculum Vita

Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry
Professor Emeritus of Biophysics and Computational Biology
Professor Emeritus of Plant Biology


B.S. 1952 University of Allahabad
M.S. 1954 University of Allahabad
Ph.D. 1960 University of Illinois, U-C
Postdoc. 1960-1961 University of Illinois, U-C

Oxygenic photosynthesis, history of photosynthesis research, and photosynthesis education

Biophysical, biochemical, physiological and historical aspects of oxygenic photosynthesis; photochemistry and biophysical chemistry of reaction center chlorophyll a-complexes and of intact photosynthetic systems; mechanisms of primary photochemical events and oxygen evolution; pathways of electron and proton transport. Current research involves collaborative work with many laboratories in the World (including those at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Hyderabad, India; Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Institute of Microbiology, Trebon, The Czech Republic, and Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), México).

Recent interest is in research on the history of oxygenic photosynthesis research (Editor, Historical Corner, Photosynthesis Research), in particular on the bitter controversy on the minimum quantum yield of photosynthesis between the Nobel-laureate Otto Warburg and Robert Emerson, discoverer of the concept of Photosynthetic Unit and the Emerson Enhancement Effect that led to the current picture of photosynthesis. Future history research will deal with the contributions in photosynthesis of William Arnold; Nobel-laureate James Franck, and of Andrew Benson, whose work led to the award of Nobel Prize to Melvin Calvin. Contributions to Photosynthesis Education through creation of Web sites and in the preparation of the state-of-the-art advances in all aspects of photosynthesis and respiration are other major goals (Founding Series Editor, Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration Including Bioenergy and Related Processes, Springer, Volumes 1-36 are already published). This involves obtaining comprehensive molecular and integrated theoretical understanding of the photosynthetic reactions and their relationships to respiration, and now bioenergy.

Representative Publications

Ocampo-Alvarez, H., E. García-Mendoza and Govindjee. 2013. Antagonist effect between violaxanthin and de-epoxidated pigments in nonphotochemical quenching induction in the qE deficient brown alga Macrocystis pyrifera. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1827: 427-437.

Wang Q.J., A. Singh, H. Li, L. Nedbal, L.A. Sherman , Govindjee and J.C. Whitmarsh. 2012. Net light-induced oxygen evolution in photosystem I deletion mutants of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1817:792—801.

Najafpour M.M., M.A. Tabrizia, B. Haghighia and Govindjee . 2012. A manganese oxide with phenol groups as a promising structural model for water oxidizing complex in Photosystem II: A ‘Golden fish’. Dalton Transactions, Royal Society of Chemistry 41: 3906-3910.

Kana R., Kotabová E., Komárek O., Šedivá B., Papageorgiou G.C., Govindjee and Prášil O. (2012) The slow S to M fluorescence rise in cyanobacteria is due to a state 2 to state 1 transition. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1817: 1237-1247.

Shevela D., J.J.,Eaton-Rye, J-R. Shen and Govindjee. 2012. Photosystem II and unique role of bicarbonate: A historical perspective. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1817: 1134-1151

Nickelsen K. and Govindjee. 2011. The Maximum Quantum Yield Controversy: Otto Warburg and the Midwest Gang. Bern Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Bern, Switzerland; Institute für Philosophie; ISBN 978-3-9523421-9-0, paperback, 138 pages.

Matsubara S, Y-C. Chen, R. Caliandro, Govindjee and R.M. Clegg. 2011. Photosystem II fluorescence lifetime imaging in avocado leaves: Contributions of the lutein-epoxide and violaxanthin cycles to fluorescence quenching. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biol. 104: 271-284.

Complete Publications List