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Comparison of the Energy-Transfer Rates in Structural and Spectral Variants of the B800–850 Complex from Purple Bacteria

Abstract : Photosynthetic light harvesting can occur with a remarkable near-unity quantum efficiency. The B800-850 complex, also known as light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2), is the primary light-harvesting complex in purple bacteria and has been extensively studied as a model system. The bacteriochlorophyll of the B800-850 complex are organized into two concentric rings, known as the B800 and B850 rings. However, depending on the species and growth conditions, the number of constituent subunits, the pigment geometry, and the absorption energies vary. While the dynamics of some B800-850 variants have been exhaustively characterized, others have not been measured. Furthermore, a direct and simultaneous comparison of how both structural and spectral differences between variants affect these dynamics has not been performed. In this work, we utilize ultrafast transient absorption measurements to compare the B800 to B850 energy transfer rates in the B800-850 complex as a function of number of subunits, geometry, and absorption energies. The nonameric B800-850 complex from Rhodobacter (Rb.) sphaeroides is 40% faster than the octameric B800-850 complex from Rhodospirillum (Rs.) molischianum, consistent with structure-based predictions. In contrast, the blueshifted B800-820 complex from Rs. molischianum is only 20% faster than the B800-850 complex from Rs. molischianum despite an increase in spectral overlap between the rings that would be expected to produce a larger increase in the energy transfer rate. These measurements support current models that contain dark, higher-lying excitonic states to bridge the energy gap between rings, thereby maintaining similar energy transfer dynamics. Overall, these results demonstrate that energy transfer dynamics in the B800-850 complex are robust to the spectral and structural variations between species used to optimize energy capture and flow in purple bacteria.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 29, 2020 - 2:22:13 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 3:33:04 AM




Ashley Tong, Olivia Fiebig, Muath Nairat, Dvir Harris, Marcel Giansily, et al.. Comparison of the Energy-Transfer Rates in Structural and Spectral Variants of the B800–850 Complex from Purple Bacteria. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2020, 124 (8), pp.1460-1469. ⟨10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b11899⟩. ⟨hal-02883804⟩



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