Site, rate, and mechanism of photoprotective quenching in cyanobacteria.

L.J. Tian, I.H.M. van Stokkum, R.B.M. Koehorst, I. Jongerius, D. Kirilovsky, H. van Amerongen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In cyanobacteria, activation of the Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP) by intense blue-green light triggers photoprotective thermal dissipation of excess absorbed energy leading to a decrease (quenching) of fluorescence of the light harvesting phycobilisomes and, concomitantly, of the energy arriving to the reaction centers. Using spectrally resolved picosecond fluorescence, we have studied cells of wild-type Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and of mutants without and with extra OCP (δOCP and OverOCP) both in the unquenched and quenched state. With the use of target analysis, we managed to spectrally resolve seven different pigment pools in the phycobilisomes and photosystems I and II, and to determine the rates of excitation energy transfer between them. In addition, the fraction of quenched phycobilisomes and the rates of charge separation and quenching were resolved. Under our illumination conditions, ∼72% of the phycobilisomes in OverOCP appeared to be substantially quenched. For wild-type cells, this number was only ∼29%. It is revealed that upon OCP activation, a bilin chromophore in the core of the phycobilisome, here called APC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18304-18311
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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