A genetic approach has been adopted to investigate the organization of the light-harvesting proteins in the photosystem II (PSII) complex in plants. PSII membrane fragments were prepared from wild-type Arabidopis thaliana and plants expressing antisense constructs to Lhcb4 and Lhcb5 genes, lacking CP29 and CP26, respectively (Andersson et al. (2001) Plant Cell 13, 1193-1204). Ordered PS II arrays and PS II supercomplexes were isolated from the membranes of plants lacking CP26 but could not be prepared from those lacking CP29. Membranes and supercomplexes lacking CP26 were less stable than those prepared from the wild type. Transmission electron microscopy aided by single-particle image analysis was applied to the ordered arrays and the isolated PSII complexes. The difference between the images obtained from wild type and antisense plants showed the location of CP26 to be near CP43 and one of the light-harvesting complex trimers. Therefore, the location of the CP26 within PSH was directly established for the first time, and the location of the CP29 complex was determined by elimination. Alterations in the packing of the PSII complexes in the thylakoid membrane also resulted from the absence of CP26. The minor light-harvesting complexes each have a unique location and important roles in the stabilization of the oligomeric PSII structure.