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Ultrafast Carotenoid Band Shifts Probe Structure and Dynamics in Photosynthetic Antenna Complexes

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Department of Chemical Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, S-22100 Lund, Sweden, and Krebs Institute and Robert Hill Institute for Photosynthesis, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2UH, U.K.
Cite this: Biochemistry 1998, 37, 20, 7057–7061
Publication Date (Web):May 2, 1998
https://doi.org/10.1021/bi980118g
Copyright © 1998 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

    We report observations of ultrafast carotenoid band shifts correlated with energy transfer dynamics between bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) molecules within the peripheral light-harvesting complex (LH2) from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Direct excitation of the bacteriochlorophyll Qy bands yielded distinct changes in the carotenoid S2 absorption from 430 to 530 nm. Transient absorption spectra and kinetics were measured in a femtosecond pump−probe experiment, revealing the ultrafast carotenoid response to excited BChl pigments. These data are an indication of a new property of carotenoids that is manifested as a unique ability to detect and report changes in their immediate environment, thereby serving as sensitive probes of local structure and dynamics.

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     This work was supported by the Swedish Natural Science Research Council, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the European Union (Grant ERBFMGECT950020). J.L.H. was supported by a Wenner Gren Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. G.J.S.F. and C.N.H. were supported by grants from the BBSRC (U.K.).

     Lund University.

    §

     University of Sheffield.

    *

    In papers with more than one author, the asterisk indicates the name of the author to whom inquiries about the paper should be addressed.

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