The orientations of core antenna chlorophylls in photosystem II are optimized to maximize the quantum yield of photosynthesis

Sergei Vasil'ev, Jian Ren Shen, Nobuo Kamiya, Doug Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In photosystem II (PSII) the probability that energy absorbed by core antenna chlorophyll (Chl) is transferred to the reaction center (RC) is extremely high. Although close proximity between antenna Chl ensures a high transfer efficiency, relative pigment orientation can fractionally modify it. This level of refinement has often been assumed to be superfluous as so many subsequent processes limit the overall efficiency of photosynthesis. Nevertheless, did natural selection act on the most efficient step of energy conversion in PSII by optimizing the orientation of antenna Chl? Our Monte Carlo simulations sampled the orientation space of Chls in kinetic models for excitation energy transfer based on the X-ray structures of PSII from Thermosynechococcus vulcanus and Synechocystis elongatus. Our results revealed that the orientations of key antenna Chls are optimized to maximize photosynthesis while the orientations of the two peripheral RC Chls (Chl Z) are not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Volume561
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2004

Keywords

  • Chl, chlorophyll
  • Energy transfer
  • Light harvesting
  • PS, photosystem
  • Photosystem II
  • RC, reaction center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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