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By William M. Nelson

Agricultural purposes in eco-friendly Chemistry illustrates the synergism among eco-friendly chemistry and agriculture, and it indicates how eco-friendly chemistry offers a direction within the flow towards sustainable agriculture.

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Rather than the apoprotein simply providing generalized ligands for the pentacoordinate Mg in Chi, modification of the Chi molecule generates selectivity in ligand binding and expands the ligand selection beyond the imidazole ring of histidine, the favored ligand for Chi a, to Lewis bases containing an electronic dipole. Consequently, stable LHCs accumulate and the capacity of the plant to harvest light energy is greatly increased by expansion of the antenna. LHCPs are required for accumulation of Chi b, although it is not clear whether oxidation of Chi a occurs after the Chi molecule has bound to the protein but before folding of the complex is completed in viva, or whether LHCPs are regulatory effectors of the synthesis of Chi b.

These interactions are apparently necessary for correct folding of the protein, and they provide the specificity of occupancy of binding sites for Chi. An understanding of the factors that enhance assembly and stability of light-harvesting complexes can possibly lead to engineering more robust organisms for a number of useful, 'green' processes. Algae provide a potential 'scrubber' of C 0 in power plant effluents. Algae enriched in Chi b may be more stable under the lower pH environments in such effluents because of its greater stability to acidic pH values than Chi a, which results either because the Mg in Chi b repels protons or because it is hexacoordinated and thus sterically protected from displacement by protons.

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