Breaking the Red Limit: Efficient Trapping of Long-Wavelength Excitations in Chlorophyll-f-Containing Photosystem I

Martijn Tros, Vincenzo Mascoli, Gaozhong Shen, Ming Yang Ho, Luca Bersanini, Christopher J. Gisriel, Donald A. Bryant, Roberta Croce

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Because of its energetic requirements, oxygenic photosynthesis employs a particular chlorophyll, chlorophyll a, which only absorbs visible light up to 700 nm. This spectral restriction can be particularly limiting under the shade of a dense plant canopy, where the available light is highly enriched in far-red photons (700–800 nm). Therefore, a promising approach for increasing biomass yields is to push light-harvesting capacity beyond the natural spectral limits by introducing pigments absorbing at longer wavelengths than chlorophyll a. Interestingly, a group of cyanobacteria is capable of harvesting far-red light up to 800 nm by integrating the red-shifted chlorophyll f in their photosystems. Here, we clarify the molecular mechanisms allowing chlorophyll-f-containing photosystem I to collect and process such low-energy photons with surprisingly high efficiency, thus providing a starting point for optimizing the photosynthetic units of other organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-173
Number of pages19
JournalChem
Volume7
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG15: Life on land
  • charge separation
  • chlorophylls
  • excitation-energy transfer
  • far-red light
  • light harvesting
  • photoacclimation
  • photochemistry
  • photosynthesis
  • spectroscopy
  • time-resolved fluorescence

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