Prof. S. Rajagopal and his group were selected for a prestigious program called the Sakura Science Exchange Program, an initiative by the Japanese government promoting scientific collaborations and the program was hosted by Prof. Yuichiro Takahashi, Okayama University, Japan. The group (Prof. S. Rajagopal, Dr. Venkateswara Rao, Ms. Pavithra Ramachandran, Mr. Jyoti Ranjan Rath, Mr. Pulimamidi Bharath, Mr. Jerome Xavier G, Mr. Vijay Srinivas Lavudiya, Ms. Shriya Sharma, Ms. Namrata Dubey and Mr. Siva Naga Sai Damaraju) visited from March 3 to March 10, 2024, and delved into an intensive exploration of photosynthesis research, transcending borders and fostering collaborative growth.

During our visit, we had the privilege of meeting renowned Scientists like Prof. Yuchiro Takahashi, Prof. Wataru Sakamoto, Prof. Jian-Ren Shen, Prof. Suga Michi, Prof. Ifuku Kentaro, Prof. Kaori Kohzuma, Prof. Toshiharu Shikanai and their group from institutes like Okayama University, Agricultural Institute of Okayama University, and Kyoto University, Japan. Both side the scientific presentations, sharing the ongoing research, insights, and extensive discussions were commendable. This collaborative interchange elevated the scientific dialogue, establishing a foundation for potential future collaborations and knowledge dissemination. Each day was marked by intense scientific discourse, covering a spectrum of topics in basic & applied photosynthesis research and structural biology.

These discussions catalyzed intellectual growth, as we critically examined methodologies and findings, expanding our scientific horizons. Our exposure to advanced techniques employed by Japanese researchers was pivotal. The assimilation of these methodologies promises to augment the sophistication of our own research, as we integrate these state-of-the-art approaches into our ongoing projects. The Sakura Science Exchange Program provided an invaluable opportunity for our lab members to deepen their understanding of contemporary photosynthesis research.

The knowledge acquired during our visit is poised to impact our ongoing and future projects significantly. As we return to our lab in India, we are eager to apply the insights gained, ensuring that the collaborative spirit fostered during this exchange continues to bear fruit in the form of advancements and contributions to the field of photosynthesis research.