Multiple LHCII antennae can transfer energy efficiently to a single Photosystem I

Inge Bos, Kaitlyn M. Bland, Lijin Tian, Roberta Croce, Laurie K. Frankel, Herbert van Amerongen, Terry M. Bricker, Emilie Wientjes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII) work in series to drive oxygenic photosynthesis. The two photosystems have different absorption spectra, therefore changes in light quality can lead to imbalanced excitation of the photosystems and a loss in photosynthetic efficiency. In a short-term adaptation response termed state transitions, excitation energy is directed to the light-limited photosystem. In higher plants a special pool of LHCII antennae, which can be associated with either PSI or PSII, participates in these state transitions. It is known that one LHCII antenna can associate with the PsaH site of PSI. However, membrane fractions were recently isolated in which multiple LHCII antennae appear to transfer energy to PSI. We have used time-resolved fluorescence-streak camera measurements to investigate the energy transfer rates and efficiency in these membrane fractions. Our data show that energy transfer from LHCII to PSI is relatively slow. Nevertheless, the trapping efficiency in supercomplexes of PSI with ~ 2.4 LHCIIs attached is 94%. The absorption cross section of PSI can thus be increased with ~ 65% without having significant loss in quantum efficiency. Comparison of the fluorescence dynamics of PSI-LHCII complexes, isolated in a detergent or located in their native membrane environment, indicates that the environment influences the excitation energy transfer rates in these complexes. This demonstrates the importance of studying membrane protein complexes in their natural environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics
Issue number5
Early online date22 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


EW acknowledges her Marie Skłodowska Curie IF grant (655542) and her Veni grant (016.161.038) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for financial report. RC acknowledges her European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant 281341 (ASAP) and her Vici grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (865.10.013). TB and LKF acknowledge support from the Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy through grant DE-FG02-98ER20310.

FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-FG02-98ER20310
Basic Energy Sciences
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme655542, 281341
Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division
European Research Council
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek865.10.013


    • Excitation energy transfer
    • Light-harvesting complex
    • State transitions
    • Time-resolved fluorescence


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