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The energy transfer (ET) from carotenoids (Cars) to chlorophylls (Chls) in photosynthetic complexes occurs with almost unitary efficiency thanks to the synergistic action of multiple finely tuned channels whose photophysics and dynamics are not fully elucidated yet. We investigated the energy flow from the Car peridinin (Per) to Chl a in the peridinin chlorophyll a protein (PCP) from marine algae Amphidinium carterae by using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES) with a 10 fs temporal resolution. Recently debated hypotheses regarding the S2-to-S1 relaxation of the Car via a conical intersection and the involvement of possible intermediate states in the ET were examined. The comparison with an N89L mutant carrying the Per donor in a lower-polarity environment helped us unveil relevant details on the mechanisms through which excitation was transferred: the ET yield was conserved even when a mutation perturbed the optimization of the system thanks to the coexistence of multiple channels exploited during the process.


Francesco Tumbarello, Giampaolo Marcolin, Elisa Fresch, Eckhard Hofmann, Donatella Carbonera, Elisabetta Collini. The Energy Transfer Yield between Carotenoids and Chlorophylls in Peridinin Chlorophyll a Protein Is Robust against Mutations. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 May 03;23(9)

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PMID: 35563456

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