, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 227-236

Characterization of a non-detergent PS II-cytochrome b/f preparation (BS)

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A non-detergent photosystem II preparation, named BS, has been characterized by countercurrent distribution, light saturation curves, absorption spectra and fluorescence at room and at low temperature (−196°C). The BS fraction is prepared by a sonication-phase partitioning procedure (Svensson P and Albertsson P-Å, Photosynth Res 20: 249–259, 1989) which removes the stroma lamellae and the margins from the grana and leaves the appressed partition region intact in the form of vesicles. These are closed structures of inside-out conformation. They have a chlorophyll a/b ratio of 1.8–2.0, have a high oxygen evolving capacity (295 μmol O2 per mg chl h), are depleted in P700 and enriched in the cytochrome b/f complex. They have about 2 Photosystem II reaction centers per 1 cytochrome b/f complex.

The plastoquinone pool available for PS II in the BS vesicles is 6–7 quinones per reaction center, about the same as for the whole thylakoid. It is concluded, therefore, that the plastoquinone of the stroma lamellae is not available to the PS II in the grana and that plastoquinone does not act as a long range electron transport shuttler between the grana and stroma lamellae.

Compared with Photosystem II particles prepared by detergent (Triton X-100) treatment, the BS vesicles retain more cytochrome b/f complex and are more homogenous in their surface properties, as revealed by countercurrent distribution, and they have a more efficient energy transfer from the antenna pigments to the reaction center.