Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 295–316

Primary photochemistry in photosystem-I

  • A. W. Rutherford
  • P. Heathcote

DOI: 10.1007/BF00054105

Cite this article as:
Rutherford, A.W. & Heathcote, P. Photosynth Res (1985) 6: 295. doi:10.1007/BF00054105


In this review, the main research developments that have led to the current simplified picture of photosystem I are presented. This is followed by a discussion of some conflicting reports and unresolved questions in the literature. The following points are made: (1) the evidence is contradictory on whether P700, the primary donor, is a monomer or dimer of chlorophyll although at this time the balacnce of the evidence points towards a monomeric structure for P700 when in the triplet state; (2) there is little evidence that the iron sulfur centers FA and FB act in series as tertiary acceptors and it is as likely that they act in parallel under physiological conditions; (3) a role for FX, probably another iron sulfur centrer, as an obligatory electron carrier in forward electron transfer has not been proven. Some evidence indicates that its reduction could represent a pathway different to that involving FA and FB; (4) the decay of the acceptor ‘A2’ as defined by optical spectroscopy corresponds with 700+ % MathType!MTEF!2!1!+-% feaafeart1ev1aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn% hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr% 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq-Jc9% vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0-yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr-x% fr-xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaamOramaaBa% aaleaadaqdaaqaaiaadIfaaaaabeaaaaa!37D1!\[F_{\overline X } \] recombination under some circumstances but under other conditions it probably corresponds with P700+ A1 recombination; (5) P700+ A1 recombination as originally observed by optical spectroscopy is probably due to the decay of the P700 triplet state; (6) the acceptor A1 as defined by EPR may be a special semiquinone molecule; (7) A0 is probably a chlorophyll a molecule which acts as the primary acceptor. Recombination of P700+ A0 gives rise to the P700 triplet state.

A working model for electron transfer in photosystem I is presented, its general features are discussed and comparisons with other photosystems are made.

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Rutherford
    • 1
  • P. Heathcote
    • 2
  1. 1.Service de Biophysique, Department de BiologieCEN SaclayGif sur YvetteFrance
  2. 2.School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK