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Transient absorption changes induced by excitation of isolated reaction centers (RCs) from Rhodobacter sphaeroides with 600nm laser pulses of 20fs (full width at half maximum) were monitored in the wavelength region of 420-560nm. The spectral features of the spectrum obtained are characteristic for an electrochromic band shift of the single carotenoid (Car) molecule spheroidene, which is an integral constituent of these RCs. This effect is assigned to an electrochromic bandshift of Car due to the local electric field of the dipole moment formed by electronic excitation of bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) molecule(s) in the neighborhood of Car. Based on the known distances between the pigments, the monomeric BChl (B(B)) in the inactive B-branch is inferred to dominate this effect. The excitation of B(B) at 600nm leads to a transition into the S(2) state (Q(x) band), which is followed by rapid internal conversion to the S(1) state (Q(y) band), thus leading to a change of strength and orientation of the dipole moment, i.e., of the electric field acting on the Car molecule. Therefore, the time course of the electrochromic bandshift reflects the rate of the internal conversion from S(2) to S(1) of B(B). The evaluation of the kinetics leads to a value of 30fs for this relaxation process. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: from Natural to Artificial. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Vladimir Z Paschenko, Vladimir V Gorokhov, Boris N Korvatovskiy, Eugeniy A Bocharov, Peter P Knox, Oleg M Sarkisov, Christoph Theiss, Hans J Eichler, Gernot Renger, Andrew B Rubin. The rate of Q(x)→Q(y) relaxation in bacteriochlorophylls of reaction centers from Rhodobacter sphaeroides determined by kinetics of the ultrafast carotenoid bandshift. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2012 Aug;1817(8):1399-406

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PMID: 22366029

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