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AbstractOxygenic photosynthesis starts with the oxidation of water to O2. Cyanobacteria are the only known prokaryotes capable of oxygenic photosynthesis and therefore, it is assumed that water oxidation is a late innovation relative to the origin of life. However, when exactly oxygenic photosynthesis originated remains lively debated. Here we show that the origin of photosystem II, the water-splitting enzyme, occurred at an early stage during the evolution of life and long before the origin ofdoi:10.1101/2020.02.28.969766 fatcat:a5h2dpg5n5grdlrlzemp6bhugu