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Photosystems (PS) I and II activities depend on their light-harvesting capacity and trapping efficiency, which vary in different environmental conditions. For optimal functioning, these activities need to be balanced. This is achieved by redistribution of excitation energy between the two photosystems via the association and disassociation of light-harvesting complexes (LHC) II, in a process known as state transitions. Here we study the effect of LHCII binding to PSI on its absorption properties and trapping efficiency by comparing time-resolved fluorescence kinetics of PSI-LHCI and PSI-LHCI-LHCII complexes of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. PSI-LHCI-LHCII of C. reinhardtii is the largest PSI supercomplex isolated so far and contains seven Lhcbs, in addition to the PSI core and the nine Lhcas that compose PSI-LHCI, together binding ∼ 320 chlorophylls. The average decay time for PSI-LHCI-LHCII is ∼ 65 ps upon 400 nm excitation (15 ps slower than PSI-LHCI) and ∼ 78 ps upon 475 nm excitation (27 ps slower). The transfer of excitation energy from LHCII to PSI-LHCI occurs in ∼ 60 ps. This relatively slow transfer, as compared with that from LHCI to the PSI core, suggests loose connectivity between LHCII and PSI-LHCI. Despite the relatively slow transfer, the overall decay time of PSI-LHCI-LHCII remains fast enough to assure a 96% trapping efficiency, which is only 1.4% lower than that of PSI-LHCI, concomitant with an increase of the absorption cross section of 47%. This indicates that, at variance with PSII, the design of PSI allows for a large increase of its light-harvesting capacities. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Clotilde Le Quiniou, Bart van Oort, Bartlomiej Drop, Ivo H M van Stokkum, Roberta Croce. The High Efficiency of Photosystem I in the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Is Maintained after the Antenna Size Is Substantially Increased by the Association of Light-harvesting Complexes II. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2015 Dec 18;290(51):30587-95

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PMID: 26504081

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