We report a structural characterization by electron microscopy and image analysis of a supramolecular complex consisting of seven trimeric light-harvesting complex II proteins. The complex was readily observed in partially-solubilized Tris-washed photosystem II membranes from spinach but was also found to occur, with a low frequency, in oxygen-evolving photosystem II membranes. The structure reveals six peripheral trimers with the same rotational orientation and a central trimer with the opposite orientation. We conclude that the heptamer represents a naturally occurring aggregation state of part of the light-harvesting complex II trimers in the thylakoid membranes. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.