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Abstract

Oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) protein is the original name for membrane-peripheral subunits of photosystem (PS) II. Recently, multiple isoforms and homologs for OEC proteins have been identified in the chloroplast thylakoid lumen, indicating that functional diversification has occurred in the OEC family. Gene expression profiles suggest that the Arabidopsis OEC proteins are roughly categorized into three groups: the authentic OEC group, the stress-responsive group, and the group including proteins related to the chloroplast NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH) complex involved in cyclic electron transport around PSI. Based on the above gene expression profiles, molecular functions of the OEC family proteins are discussed together with our current knowledge about their functions.