Excitation energy transfer and charge separation in photosystem II membranes revisited

K. Broess, G. Trinkunas, C.D. van der Weij-de Wit, J.P. Dekker, A. Hoek, H. van Amerongen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We have performed time-resolved fluorescence measurements on photosystem II (PSII) containing membranes (BBY particles) from spinach with open reaction centers. The decay kinetics can be fitted with two main decay components with an average decay time of 150 ps. Comparison with recent kinetic exciton annihilation data on the major light-harvesting complex of PSII (LHCII) suggests that excitation diffusion within the antenna contributes significantly to the overall charge separation time in PSII, which disagrees with previously proposed trap-limited models. To establish to which extent excitation diffusion contributes to the overall charge separation time, we propose a simple coarse-grained method, based on the supramolecular organization of PSII and LHCII in grana membranes, to model the energy migration and charge separation processes in PSII simultaneously in a transparent way. All simulations have in common that the charge separation is fast and nearly irreversible, corresponding to a significant drop in free energy upon primary charge separation, and that in PSII membranes energy migration imposes a larger kinetic barrier for the overall process than primary charge separation. © 2006 by the Biophysical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3776-3786
JournalBiophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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