Bacon Ke, who did pioneering research on the primary photochemistry of photosynthesis, was born in China on July 26, 1920, and currently, he is living in a senior home in San Francisco, California, and is a centenarian. To us, this is a very happy and unique occasion to honor him. After providing a brief account of his life, and a glimpse of his research in photosynthesis, we present here “messages” for Bacon Ke@ 100 from: Robert Alfano (USA), Charles Arntzen (USA), Sandor Demeter (Hungary), Richard A. Dilley (USA), John Golbeck (USA), Isamu Ikegami (Japan), Ting-Yun Kuang (China), Richard Malkin (USA), Hualing Mi (China), Teruo Ogawa (Japan), Yasusi Yamamoto (Japan), and Xin-Guang Zhu (China).
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Allakhverdiev SI, Tomo T, Govindjee G (2014) International conference on “photosynthesis research for sustainability-2014: in honor of Vladimir A. Shuvalov”, held on June 2–7, 2014, in Pushchino, Russia. Photosynth. Res. 122:337–347. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-014-0032-6
Allakhverdiev SI, Zharmukhamedov SK, Rodionova MV, Shuvalov VA, Charles Dismukes C, Shen J-R, Barber J, Samuelsson G, Govindjee G (2018) Vyacheslav (Slava) Klimov (1945–2017): a scientist par excellence, a great human being, a friend, and a Renaissance man. Photosynth Res 136:1–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-017-0440-5
Demeter S, Ke B (1977) Electrochemical and spectro-kinetic evidence for an intermediate electron acceptor in Photosystem I. Biochim Biophys Acta 462(3):770–774
Elwell CE, Boas DA, Cooper CE, Delpy D, Ferrari M, Quaresima V, Yodh AG (2011) Dedication: Britton chance 1913–2010. Phil Trans R Soc A 369:4380–4389
Fenton JM, Pellin MJ, Govindjee G, Kaufmann K (1979) Primary photochemistry of the reaction center of Photosystem I. FEBS Lett 100:1–4
Govindjee G (1995) Sixty-three years since Kautsky: chlorophyll a fluorescence. Aust J Plant Physiol 22:131–160
Govindjee G (2004) Chlorophyll a fluorescence: a bit of basics and history. In: Papageorgiou G, Govindjee G (eds) Chlorophylla fluorescence: a probe of photosynthesis. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht
Hiyama T, Ke B (1971a) A new photosynthetic pigment ‘P430’. Its possible role as the primary electron acceptor of Photosystem 1. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 68:1010–1013
Hiyama T, Ke B (1971b) A further study of P430: a possible primary electron acceptor of Photosystem I. Arch Biochem Biophys 147:99–108
Hiyama T, Ke B (1972) Difference spectra and extinction coefficient of P700. Biochim Biophys Acta 267:160–171
Huzisige H, Ke B (1993) Dynamics of the history of photosynthesis research (with chronological flow chart). Photosynth Res 38:185–209
Ikegami I, Ke B (1984a) A 160 kilodalton photosystem I reaction-center complex: low temperature absorption and EPR spectroscopy of the early electron acceptors. Biochim Biophys Acta 764:70–79
Ikegami I, Ke B (1984b) A 160 kilodalton photosystem I reaction-center complex: low-temperature fluorescence spectroscopy. Biochim Biophys Acta 764:80–85
Ke B (1973) The primary electron acceptor of Photosystem I. Biochim Biophys Acta 301:1–33
Ke B (1991) Photosynthesis: photons, excitons, electrons, protons, ions and their interactions with photosynthetic membrane. Anhui Education Press, Hefei, China. In Chinese: 葛培根 (1991) 光合作用—光子、激子、电子、质子、离子与光合膜之间的相互作用。安徽教育出版社。
Ke B (2001) Photosynthesis: photobiochemistry and photobiophysics. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht
Ke B (2002) P430: a retrospective, 1971–2001. Photosynth Res 73:207–214
Ke B (2005) P430: a retrospective, 1971–2001. In: Govindjee G, Beatty JT, Gest H, Allen JF (eds) Discoveries in photosynthesis, advances in photosynthesis and respiration, vol 20. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 341–348
Ke B, Treharne RW, McKibben C (1964) A flashing-light spectrophotometer for studying fast reactions occurring in photosynthesis. Rev Sci Instrum 35:296–300
Ke B, Breeze RH, Green M (1968) Adaptation of the cary recording spectrophotometer to circular dichroism measurements. Anal Biochem 25:181–191
Ke B, Chaney TH, Reed DW (1970) The electrostatic interaction between the reaction center bacteriochlorophyll derived from Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides and mammalian cytochrome c and its effect on light-activated electron transport. Biochim Biophys Acta 216:373–383
Ke B, Hansen RE, Beinert H (1973) Oxidation-reduction potentials of bound iron–sulfur proteins of Photosystem I. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 70:2941–2945
Ke B, Sugahara K, Shaw E, Hansen RE, Hamilton WD, Beinert H (1974) Kinetics of appearance and disappearance of light-induced EPR signals of P700 and iron–sulfur protein(s) at low temperatures. Biochim Biophys Acta 368:401–408
Ke B, Dolan E, Sugahara K, Hawkridge FM, Demeter S, Shaw ER (1977) Electrochemical and kinetic evidence for a transient electron acceptor in the photochemical charge separation in Photosystem I. Plant Cell Physiol 35:983
Ke B, Demeter S, Zamaraev KI, Khairutdinov RF (1979) Charge recombination in Photosystem I at low temperatures. Biochim Biophys Acta 545:265–284
Klimov VV, Dolan E, Shaw ER, Ke B (1980) Interaction between the intermediary electron acceptor (pheophytin) and a possible plastoquinone-iron complex in Photosystem II reaction centers. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 77:7277–7231
Ke B, Breeze RH, Dolan E, Vore E (1985) Versatile spectrophotometer for photosynthesis (light-induced changes in absorbance and fluorescence yield, circular and linear dichroism) and other biophysical measurements. Rev Sci Instrum 56:26–31
Ko E (2016) Tourism promotion by the South Manchurea Railway Company in the 1920s: focusing on the activities of commissioned painter, Koji Mayama (in Japanese). J Global Media Studies 17–18:171–184
Kuang TV, Xu C, Li LB, Shen YK (2005) Photosynthesis research in the People’s Republic of China. In: Govindjee G, Beatty JT, Gest H, Allen JB (eds) Discoveries in photosynthesis. Advances in photosynthesis and respiration. Springer, Dordrecht
Malkin R, Bearden AJ (1971) Primary reactions of photosynthesis: photoreduction of a bound chloroplast ferredoxin at low temperature as detected by EPR spectroscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 68:16–19
Mamedov M, Govindjee G, Nadtochenko V, Semenov A (2015) Primary electron transfer processes in photosynthetic reaction centers from oxygenic organisms. Photosynth Res 125:51–63
Ogawa T (2003) Physical separation of chlorophyll-protein complexes. Photosynth Res 76:227–232
Ogawa T, Vernon LP (1969) A fraction from Anabaena variabilis enriched in the reaction center chlorophyll, P700. Biochim Biophys Acta 180:334–346
Ogawa T, Vernon LP, Mollenhauer HH (1969) Properties and structure of fractions prepared from Anabaena variabilis by the use of Triton X-100. Biochim Biophys Acta 172:216–229
San Pietro A (2008) Memories: from protein synthesis to photosynthesis. Photosynth Res 96:185–199
Shuvalov VA, Dolan E, Ke B (1979) Spectral and kinetic evidence for two early electron acceptors in Photosystem I. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76:770–773
Vernon LP (2003) Photosynthesis and the Charles F. Kettering Research Laboratory. Photosynth Res 76:379–388
Vernon LP, Ke B (1966) Photochemistry of chlorophyll in vivo. In: Chlorophylls T (ed) Vernon LP and Seely GR. Academic Press, New York, pp 569–607
Wasielewski MR, Johnson DG, Seibert M, Govindjee G (1989) Determination of the primary charge separation rate in isolated Photosystem II reaction centers with 500 femtosecond time resolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 86:524–548
Wraight CA (2014) Roderick K. Clayton: a life, and some personal recollections. Photosynth Res 120:9–26
Yamamoto Y, Ke B (1979) A temperature-dependent conformational change in photosystem-II thylakoid membrane. FEBS Lett 107:137–140
Yamamoto Y, Ke B (1980a) Regulation of electron transport in photosystem-II fragments by magnesium ions. Biochim Biophys Acta 592:285–296
Yamamoto Y, Ke B (1980b) Regulation of excitation energy distribution in photosystem-II fragments by magnesium ions. Biochim Biophys Acta 592:296–302
Yamamoto Y, Ke B (1981) Membrane-surface electric properties of Triton-subchloroplast preparations. Biochim Biophys Acta 636:175–184
We thank Mary Bet Dobson of the American Chemical Society for her valuable help to one of us (GG) in getting information for this tribute. All the authors are highly thankful to all those who sent messages to us for “Happy 100th Birthday wishes to Bacon Ke.”. We are grateful to Jian-Feng Cheng for his help in editing Fig. 4 and for his help in the Chinese text by one of us (Y-KS). GG thanks several at Wayne State University for providing information on Bacon’s date of birth, on his PhD thesis, and more; they are as follows: Matthew Allen (Chair, Chemistry); Lisa Anga; Mary Iverson; Melissa Rochon; and David Rorabacher (Emeritus). We also thank Gyozo Garab, of Hungary, for his help in reaching out to Sandor Demeter. Lastly, we acknowledge receiving valuable comments, on Bacon Ke, from Tetsuo Hiyama, and Vijai Tyagi. Finally, we thank Rajni Govindjee, who, in 1955, was in the first India- China Student- Teacher Delegation, for reading this Tribute and for her suggestions. Govindjee thanks Arthur Nonomura for reading the final version of this manuscript and for making valuable suggestions.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Govindjee, G., Shen, YK., Zhu, XG. et al. Honoring Bacon Ke at 100: a legend among the many luminaries and a highly collaborative scientist in photosynthesis research. Photosynth Res 147, 243–252 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-021-00820-8
- Photosystem I
- Photosystem II
- Charles F. Kettering laboratory
- US–China scientific relation