Spectral resolution of low-energy chlorophylls in Photosystem I of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 through direct excitation

Erin M. Gill, Bruce P. Wittmershaus

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We have measured fluorescence spectra from Photosystem I (PS I) on a PS II-less mutant of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 at room temperature as a function of excitation wavelength. Our data show a gradual enhancement of long-wavelength fluorescence at 710 nm as the excitation wavelength is increased from 695 to 720 nm. This verifies the presence of low-energy chlorophylls (LE Chls), antenna Chls with energy levels below that of the primary electron donor, P700. The change in fluorescence with excitation wavelength is attributed to the finite time it takes for equilibration of excitations between the bulk and LE Chls. The spectra were deconvoluted into the sum of two basis spectra, one an estimate for fluorescence from the majority or bulk Chls and the other, the LE Chls. The bulk Chl spectrum has a major peak at 688 nm and a lower amplitude vibrational band around 745 nm and is assumed independent of excitation wavelength. The LE Chl spectrum has a major peak at 710 nm, with shoulders at 725 and 760 nm. The relative amplitude of emission at the vibrational side bands increases slightly as the excitation wavelength increases. The ratio of the fluorescence yields from LE Chls to that from bulk Chls ranges from 0.3 to 1.3 for excitation wavelengths of 695 to 720 nm, respectively. These values are consistent with a model where the LE Chls are structurally close to P700 allowing for direct transfer of excitations from both the bulk and LE Chls to P700.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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