School of
Integrative Biology
Govindjee Govindjee

669 Morrill Hall
Office: 217-333-1794
Lab: 217-721-9954

Mail: 286 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Lab Page
Curriculum Vita

Govindjee Govindjee
Professor Emeritus - Plant Biology


Ph.D., 1960, University of Illinois
M.Sc., 1954, University of Allahabad
B.Sc., 1952, University of Allahabad

Teaching Interests

Currently, they are: (1) Scientific Writing; (2) History and Biography of Photosynthesis Researchers; and (3) Ways to Make Plants Better

History of photosynthesis

My research emphasis has been on the molecular understanding of how plants protect themselves against excess light. We have used chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool, particularly FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy) to monitor non-photochemical quenching mutants of Chlamydomonas and Arabidopsis. Synthesis of information on the structure and function of Photosystem II (PSII), particularly the roles of bicarbonate, remains my passion. My major interest now is in the history and the conceptual development of photosynthesis research at all levels. I am interested in the scientific controversies and the people involved in this research. Life and contributions of William Arnold; Daniel Arnon; Andrew Benson; Melvin Calvin; Robert Emerson; Martin Kamen; Eugene Rabinowitch; and Otto Warburg are of particular interest to me. In addition, dissemination of the available information on photosynthesis, through the internet and publication of books, to all ages 5-105, is a major goal.


1976: Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, U.S.A.)
1978: Distinguished Lecturer Award of the School of Life Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1979: Fellow and Life Member National Academy of Science (India)
1981-1982: President, American Society for Photobiology
2000, 2002: Honored for his "Lifetime Contributions in the Field of Photosynthesis", by the Indian Society of Photobiology, the Society for Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, and the Indian Society of Plant Physiology, with a Symposium on "Light and Life", on December 2, 2002 at the School of Life Sciences (SLS), Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
2004: Honorary President, International Photosynthesis Congress, Montreal, Canada
2006: The first Lifetime Achievement Award in Basic Biology, Rebeiz Foundation
2007: The Communication Award of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR)
2007: Honored for his 50 years of research, at his 75th birthday, by a two-part special issues of Photosynthesis Research (vol. 93:1-6; vol. 94: 153-178) (guest editor: Julian Eaton-Rye)
2008: LAS (Liberal Arts & Sciences) Lifetime Achievement Award of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
2008: Honored by an International Congress on "Photosynthesis in the Global Perspective", University of Indore, Indore, MP, India; see A. Jajoo et al. (2008) Photosynthesis Research 100: 49-55; this was followed by a book, dedicated to Govindjee: S. Itoh (et al.) (2015) Photosynthesis: Basics and Applications. IK Publishers, New Delhi, India
2011: Interviewed by Professor Donald Ort "A Conversation with Dr. Govindjee" (youtube) for Annual Reviews, Inc. (Annual Reviews of Plant Biology, American Society for Plant Biology)
2012: Volume 34 (Photosynthesis:Plastid Biology, Energy Conversion and Carbon Assimilation) of the "Advances of Photosynthesis..." (Springer), edited by Julian Eaton-Rye, Baishnab Tripathy and Tom Sharkey, was dedicated to Govindjee. The Dedication reads:

"Govindjee's passion for photosynthesis has been inspirational for students and researchers for over 50 years. At the start of his 80th year, this volume of the Advances of Photosynthesis and Respiration series is dedicated to Govindjee to especially acknowledge not only his unique discoveries in Photosystem II, but also his commitment to educating students and researchers throughout the World." In the same vein, the Dedication added" His unparalleled commitment and knowledge have made him a true advocate, and ambassador, of photosynthetic research and education around the World."

2013: Volumes 116 and 117 of Photosynthesis Research were dedicated to Govindjee’s 80th birthday, by Suleyman Allakhverdiev (of Russia), Jian-Ren Shen (of Japan) and Gerald (Gerry) Edward (of USA); Julian Eaton_Rye wrote a special article (Photosynthesis Research 116: 111-144); this was followed by an article by Ondre Prasil (Photosynthesis Research 122: 113-117.
2016: Honored with a highly prestigious award of the Society of Plant Research of India (The Professor B.M. Johri Memorial Award for outstanding plant scientists) on February 2, 2016, at Delhi University, Delhi, India
2018: Honored internationally for his Life-time achievement and dedication to 'Photosynthesis' at his 85th birthday by Photosynthetica (guest editor: Julian Eaton-Rye; volume 56 (issue 1), Pp. 1-477), and by Photosynthesis Research (guest editors: Suleyman Allakhverdiev, Tatsuya Tomo and Rajagopal Subramaniam; see: DOI: 10.1007/s11120-018-0596-7 and DOI: 10.1007/s11120-018-0592-y
2018: Honored , in Udaipur, India, at his 85th birthday, at a national symposium for his Contributions to Research and Education on Photosynthesis. See: From Around the World: Historical page

Representative Publications

Recent Publications ( 1999-2019) are I have copied here my publications from 2016-2019


Govindjee, Papageorgiou GC and Govindjee R (2019) Eugene I. Rabinowitch: A prophet of photosynthesis and of peace in the world. Photosynthesis Research. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-019-00641-w (8 pages plus Supplementary Material) History and Biography

Shevela D, Bjorn L and Govindjee (2019) Photosynthesis: Solar Energy for Life. World Scientific, Singapore. purchase online at Amazon or Agrisera Book

Govindjee (2019) A sixty-year tryst with photosynthesis and related processes: an informal personal perspective. Photosynthesis Research 139: 15-43. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-018-0590-0 (29 pages) History and Biography

Hamdani S, Wang H, Zheng G, Perveen S, Qu M, Khann N, Khan W, Jiang J, Li M, Liu X, Zhu X, Govindjee, Chu C and Zhu X-G (2019) Genome-wide association study identifies variation of glucosidase being linked to natural variation of the maximal quantum yield of photosystem II. Physiologia Plantarum. available online: DOI 10.1111/ppl.12957 Original Paper

Govindjee and Messinger J (2019) We remember those who left us in the recent past. Physiologia Plantrum. available online: DOI 10.1111/ppl.12859 (5 pages) History and Biography

Subramanyam R, Allakhverdiev S and Govindjee (2019) Honoring eight senior distinguished plant biologists from India. Photosynthesis Research. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-018-0531-y (8 Pages) Tribute

Stirbet A, Lazar D, Papageorgiou G and Govindjee (2019) Chlorophyll a fluorescence in cyanobacteria: Relation to photosynthesis. In: A.N. Mishra, D.N. Tiwari and A.N. Rai (Eds) Cyanobacteria: From Basic Science to Applications, Chapter 5, pp. 79-130; Elsevier Publishers Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier. Chapter in a Book

Hamdani S, Khan N, Perveen S, Qu M, Jiang J, Govindjee and Zhu XG (2019) Changes in the photosynthesis properties and photoprotection capacity in rice (Oryza sativa) grown under red, blue, or white light. Photosynthesis Research 139:107-121. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-018-0589-6 Original Article

Mishra KB, Mishra A, Kubásek J, Otmar Urban O, Heyer AG and Govindjee (2019) Low temperature induced modulation of photosynthetic induction in non-acclimated and cold-acclimated Arabidopsis thaliana: chlorophyll a fluorescence and gas-exchange measurements. Photosynthesis Research 139: 123-143. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-018-0588-7 Original Paper

Conlan B, Govindjee and Johannes Messinger J (2019) Thomas John Wydrzynski (8 July 1947-16 March 2018). Photosynthesis Research. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-018-0606-9 (9 Pages) Tribute


Govindjee, Khanna R and Zilinskas B (2018) Remembering Tom Wydrzynski (1947-2018), one who had the guts to go after what he wanted and excelled at it. Current Plant Biology 16: 2-8. available online: DOI 10.1016/j.cpb.2018.10.003 Tribute

Govindjee and Blankenship RE (2018) Martin D. Kamen, Whose Discovery of 14C Changed Plant Biology as Well as Archaeology. available online: Plantae; Historical Perspectives on Plant Science (10 Pages) Tribute

Govindjee (2018) Robert Emerson's 1949 Stephen Hales Prize Lecture: "Photosynthesis and the World". Journal of Plant Science Research 34 (2): 119-125. Historical Article

Laws E, Weidemann A, Hoch G, Bannister H, Robert S. Knox RS, and Govindjee (2018) In memory of Thomas Turpin Bannister (1930-2018). Photosynthesis Research 138 (2): 129-138. Tribute

Govindjee and Tanner W (2018) Remembering Otto Kandler (1920-2017) and his contributions. Photosynthesis Research 137 (3): 337-340. (plus Supplementary Photos) Tribute

Naithani S and Govindjee (2018) Remembering Professor Prasanna K. Mohanty (April 1,1934 - March 9, 2013). Current Plant Biology 13: 2-5. Tribute

Stirbet A, Lazár D, Kromdijk J and Govindjee (2018) Chlorophyll a fluorescence induction: Can just a one-second measurement be used to quantify abiotic stress responses? Photosynthetica 56 (1): 86-104. Review

Allakhverdiev SI, Zharmukhamedov SK, Rodionova MV, Shuvalov VA, Charles Dismukes C, Shen J-R, Barber J, Samuelsson and Govindjee (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. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0440-5 (16 pages) Tribute

Soda N, Gupta BK, Anwar K, Sharan A, Govindjee, Singla-Pareek SL, Pareek A (2018) Rice intermediate filament, OsIF, stabilizes photosynthetic machinery and yield under salinity and heat stress. Scientific Report, Vol 8, article #4072. available online (13 pages): DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-22131-0 [PDF file includes Supplementary Material and a photograph of the authors] Original Research Paper

Herbert SK, Siderer Y, Govindjee (2018) Shmuel Malkin (1934–2017) Listening to photosynthesis and making music. Photosynth Res. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-018-0478-z Tribute


Gisriel C, Saroussi S, Ramundo S, Fromme P, Govindjee (2017) Gordon Research Conference on photosynthesis: photosynthetic plasticity from the environment to synthetic systems. Photosynth Res. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0472-x News Report

Bernát G, Steinbach G, Kaňa R, Govindjee, Misra AN, Prášil O (2017) On the origin of the slow M–T chlorophyll a fluorescence decline in cyanobacteria: interplay of short-term light-responses. Photosynth Res. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0458-8 Original Research Paper

Shabnam N, Sharmila P, Govindjee, Kim H, and Pardha-Saradhi P (2017) Differential response of floating and submerged leaves of longleaf pondweed to silver ions Frontiers in Plant Science, Vol. 8, article # 1052. available online (13 pages): DOI 10.3389/fpls.2017.01052 Original Research Paper

Nonomura AM, Holtz B, Biel KY, Cooney R, Lorimer G and Govindjee (2017) The paths of Andrew A. Benson: a radio-autobiography. Photosynth Res 134: 93-105. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0410-y Tribute

Govindjee, Munday J C Jr and Papageorgiou GC (2017) Frederick Yi-Tung Cho (1939-2011): His PhD days in Biophysics, the Photosynthesis Lab, and his patents in engineering physics. Photosynth Res 132: 227-234. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0391-x Tribute

Latimer MG, Bannister TT and Govindjee (2017) Paul Henry Latimer (1925-2011): Discoverer of selective scattering in photosynthetic systems. Photosynth Res 134: 83-91. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0390-y Tribute

Govindjee (2017) André Tridon Jagendorf (1926-2017). Photosynth Res 132: 235-243. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0380-0 Tribute

Yurina NP, Popov VO, Krasnovsky Jr. AA and Govindjee (2017) Remembering Navasard V. Karapetyan (1936-2015). Photosynth Res 132: 221-226. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0361-3 Tribute

Brand1 JJ, Kerfeld CA, Cramer WA and Govindjee (2017) David W. Krogmann, 1931-2016. Photosynth Res 132:1-12. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-016-0335-x Tribute

Govindjee, Shevela D and Björn LO (2017) Evolution of the Z-scheme of photosynthesis. Photosynth Res 133: 5-15. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-016-0333-z Review

Mircovic T, Ostrumov EE, Anna JM, van Grondelle R, Govindjee and Scholes GD (2017) Light absorption and energy transfer in the antenna complexes of photosynthetic organisms. Chemical Reviews. available online (45 pages): DOI 10.1007/10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00002 Review

Govindjee and Redding K (2017) Honoring Jean-David Rochaix. Photosynth Res 131: 221-225. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-016-0308-0 News Report

Tsygankov AA, Allakhverdiev SI, Tomo T and Govindjee (2017) International conference on Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability-2016: In honor of Nathan Nelson and Turhan Nejat Veziroglu. Photosynth Res 131: 227-236. available online: DOI 10.1007/s11120-016-0311-5 News Report


Kana R and Govindjee (2016) Role of Ions in the Regulation of Light Harvesting: Frontiers in Plant Science 7: article # 1849, 17 pages; DOI 10.3389/fpls.2016.01849 : Review

Mishra KB, Mishra A, Klem K and Govindjee (2016) Plant phenotyping: a perspective. Ind J Plant Physiol 21(4): 514-527; DOI 10.1007/s40502-016- 0271-y : Review

Buchanan BB, Douce R, Govindjee, Lichtenthaler HK, Summons RE (2016) Andrew Alm Benson, 1917 – 2015 , Biographical Memoir of the National Academy of Science, USA 16 pages, available ONLINE : Tribute

Joliot P, Crofts AR, Björn LO, Yerkes CT, Govindjee (2016) In photosynthesis, oxygen comes from water : From a 1787 book for women by Monsieur De Fourcroy. Photosynth Res 129 : 105-107; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-02666.6 : Historical Paper

Govindjee, Marcelle D (2016) René Marcelle (December 30, 1931—December 18, 2011), the first editor-in-chief of Photosynthesis Research. Photosynth Res 129 : 13-15; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0258-66 : Tribute

Govindjee, Pulles MPJ (2016) Louis Nico Marie Duysens (March 15, 1921—September 8, 2015) : A leading biophysicist of the 20th century. Photosynth Res 128 : 223—234; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0256-8 : Tribute

Kandoi D, Mohanty S, Govindjee, Tripathy BC (2016) Towards efficient photosynthesis : overexpression of Zea mays phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Photosynth Res 130: 47-72;DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0207-9 . Original Research Paper

Stirbet A, Govindjee (2016) The slow phase of chlorophyll a fluorescence induction in silico : Origin of the S-M fluorescence rise. Photosynth Res 130: 193-213; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0243-0 : Original Research Paper

Stamatakis K, Papageorgiou GC, Govindjee (2016) Effects of b-carotene, a chemical scavenger of singlet oxygen, on the millisecond rise of chlorophyll a fluorescence of cyanobacteria Syncechocystis sp. PCC 7942. Photosynth Res 130: 317-324; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0255-9(On Line) : Original Research Paper

Huseynova IM, Allakhverdiev SI. Govindjee (2016) Jalal A. Aliyev (1928-2016) : A great scientist, a great teacher and a great human being. Photosynth Res 128 : 219-222; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0242-1 : Tribute

Allakhverdiev SI, Tomo T, Stamatakis K, Govindjee (2016) International Conference on “Photosynthesis research for sustainability-2015 in honor of George C. Papapageorgiou”, September 21-26, 2015, Crete Greece. Photosynth Res 130: 1-10; DOI 10.1007/s 11120-016-0207-9(On Line) : News Report

Elchuri SV, Govindjee (2016) Vallabhaneni Sita Rama Das, 1933–2010 : teacher and mentor. Photosynth Res 128:109–115; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0210-1 : Tribute

Govindjee, Bassham H, Bassham S (2016) Remembering James Alan Bassham (1922-2012) Photosynth Res 128 :3-13; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0201-2 : Tribute

Nonomura A, Lorimer G, Holtz B, Vacquier V, Biel KY, Govindjee (2016) Andrew A. Benson : personal recollections. Photosynth Res 127 : 369-378; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0186-x : Tribute

Govindjee, Grossman AR, Bhaya D (2016) Gordon research conference on the dynamics and regulation of photosynthesis : from the origin of bio-catalysis to innovative solar conversion. Photosynth Res 127 : 379-389;DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0187-9 : News Report

Briggs WR, Govindjee (2016) Remembering Jeanette Snyder Brown (1925–2014) Photosynth Res 127 : 287-293; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0181-2 : Tribute

Maroti P, Govindjee (2016) The two last overviews by Colin Allen Wraight (1945–2014) on energy conversion in photosynthetic bacteria. Photosynth Res 127 : 257-271; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0175-0 : Tribute

Govindjee, Prince RC, Ort D R (2016) Colin A. Wraight, 1945-2014. Photosynth Res 127 : 237-256; DOI 10.1007/s11120-015-0174-1 : Tribute

Complete Publications List