Excitation energy transfer in chlorosomes of green bacteria: Theoretical and experimental studies

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Abstract

A theory of excitation energy transfer within the chlorosomal antennae of green bacteria has been developed for an exciton model of aggregation of bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c (d or e). This model of six exciton-coupled BChl chains with low packing density, approximating that in vivo, and interchain distances of ~2 nm was generated to yield the key spectral features found in natural antennae, i.e., the exciton level structure revealed by spectral hole burning experiments and polarization of all the levels parallel to the long axis of the chlorosome. With picosecond fluorescence spectroscopy it was demonstrated that the theory explains the antenna-size-dependent kinetics of fluorescence decay in chlorosomal antenna, measured for intact cells of different cultures of the green bacterium C. aurantiacus, with different chlorosomal antenna size determined by electron microscopic examination of the ultrathin sections of the cells. The data suggest a possible mechanism of excitation energy transfer within the chlorosome that implies the formation of a cylindrical exciton, delocalized over a tubular aggregate of BChl c chains, and Forster-type transfer of such a cylindrical exciton between the nearest tubular BChl c aggregates as well as to BChl a of the baseplate.

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Fetisova, Z., Freiberg, A., Mauring, K., Novoderezhkin, V., Taisova, A., & Timpmann, K. (1996). Excitation energy transfer in chlorosomes of green bacteria: Theoretical and experimental studies. Biophysical Journal, 71(2), 995–1010. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(96)79301-3

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