Photosystem II does not possess a simple excitation energy funnel: Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy meets theory

Yutaka Shibata, Shunsuke Nishi, Keisuke Kawakami, Jian Ren Shen, Thomas Renger

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83 Citations (Scopus)


The experimentally obtained time-resolved fluorescence spectra of photosystem II (PS II) core complexes, purified from a thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus vulcanus, at 5-180 K are compared with simulations. Dynamic localization effects of excitons are treated implicitly by introducing exciton domains of strongly coupled pigments. Exciton relaxations within a domain and exciton transfers between domains are treated on the basis of Redfield theory and generalized Förster theory, respectively. The excitonic couplings between the pigments are calculated by a quantum chemical/electrostatic method (Poisson-TrEsp). Starting with previously published values, a refined set of site energies of the pigments is obtained through optimization cycles of the fits of stationary optical spectra of PS II. Satisfactorily agreement between the experimental and simulated spectra is obtained for the absorption spectrum including its temperature dependence and the linear dichroism spectrum of PS II core complexes (PS II-CC). Furthermore, the refined site energies well reproduce the temperature dependence of the time-resolved fluorescence spectrum of PS II-CC, which is characterized by the emergence of a 695 nm fluorescence peak upon cooling down to 77 K and the decrease of its relative intensity upon further cooling below 77 K. The blue shift of the fluorescence band upon cooling below 77 K is explained by the existence of two red-shifted chlorophyll pools emitting at around 685 and 695 nm. The former pool is assigned to Chl45 or Chl43 in CP43 (Chl numbering according to the nomenclature of Loll et al. Nature2005, 438, 1040) while the latter is assigned to Chl29 in CP47. The 695 nm emitting chlorophyll is suggested to attract excitations from the peripheral light-harvesting complexes and might also be involved in photoprotection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6903-6914
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - May 8 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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