Date: June 10, 2005
Creator: Blankenship, Robert E.
Description: Most chlorophyll-type pigments in a photosynthetic organism function as an antenna, absorbing light and transferring excitations to a photochemical reaction center where energy storage takes place by a series of chemical reactions. The green photosynthetic bacteria are characterized by large antenna complexes known as chlorosomes, in which pigment-pigment interactions are of dominant importance. The overall objective of this project is to determine the mechanisms of excitation transfer and regulation of this unique antenna system, including how it is integrated into the rest of the photosynthetic energy transduction apparatus. Techniques that are being used in this research include biochemical analysis, spectroscopy, microscopy, X-ray structural studies, and reconstitution from purified components. Our recent results indicate that the chlorosome baseplate structure, which is the membrane attachment site for the chlorosome to the membrane, is a unique pigment-protein that contains large amounts of carotenoids and small amounts of bacteriochlorophyll a. Reconstitution of directed energy transfer in chlorosomes will be carried out using purified baseplates and oligomeric pigments. The integral membrane B808-866 antenna complex from Chloroflexus aurantiacus and the Fenna-Matthews-Olson protein-reaction center complex from green sulfur bacteria will be characterized by spectroscopic and structural techniques.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department