The first hypothesis that oxygen released during photosynthesis is derived from water was proposed by
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Van Niel was a microbiologist who on the basis of his studies of purple and green sulphur bacteria demonstrated that during photosynthesis, hydrogen released from a suitable oxidizable compound reduces carbon dioxide to carbohydrates. The first hypothesis that oxygen released during photosynthesis is derived from the water was proposed by Van Niel. This hypothesis was later proved by using radioisotopic techniques.
2H2A + CO2→light2A + CH2O + H2O
where H2A is the oxidisable compound (H2O or H2S)