Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 279–286 | Cite as

Evidence for the existence of trimeric and monomeric Photosystem I complexes in thylakoid membranes from cyanobacteria

  • Jochen Kruip
  • Dirk Bald
  • Egbert Boekema
  • Matthias Rögner
Regular Papers


In cyanobacteria, solubilization of thylakoid membranes by detergents yields both monomeric and trimeric Photosystem I (PS I) complexes in variable amounts. We present evidence for the existence of both monomeric and trimeric PS I in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes with the oligomeric state depending ‘in vitro’ on the ion concentration. At low salt concentrations (i.e.≤10 mM MgSO4) PS I is mainly extracted as a trimer from these membranes and at high salt concentrations (i.e.≥150 mM MgSO4) nearly exclusively as a monomer, irrespective of the type of salt used (i.e. mono- or bivalent ions) and the temperature (i.e. 4°C or 20°C). Once solubilized, the PS I trimer is stable over a wide range of ion concentrations (i.e. beyond 0.5 M). A model is presented which suggests a monomer-oligomer equilibrium of PS I, but also of PS II and the cyt. b6/f-complex in the cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane. The possible physiological role of this equilibrium in the regulation of state transitions is discussed.

Key words

cyanobacteria HPLC monomer Photosystem I state transitions trimer 






cyt. b6f

cytochrome b6f complex


electron microscopy


high performance liquid chromatography


N, N-dimethyl-N-dodecyl amine oxide


4-morpholino ethane sulfonic acid


polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis






sodium dodecyl sulfate


two dimensional


three dimensional


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jochen Kruip
    • 1
  • Dirk Bald
    • 1
  • Egbert Boekema
    • 2
  • Matthias Rögner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of BotanyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Bioson Research Institute, Biophysical ChemistryUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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