Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 235–241 | Cite as

Singlet-triplet fission of carotenoid excitation in light-harvesting LH2 complexes of purple phototrophic bacteria

  • I. B. KleninaEmail author
  • Z. K. Makhneva
  • A. A. Moskalenko
  • N. D. Gudkov
  • M. A. Bolshakov
  • E. A. Pavlova
  • I. I. Proskuryakov


The current generally accepted structure of light-harvesting LH2 complexes from purple phototrophic bacteria conflicts with the observation of singlet-triplet carotenoid excitation fission in these complexes. In LH2 complexes from the purple bacterium Allochromatium minutissimum, a drop in the efficiency of carotenoid triplet generation is demonstrated, which correlates with the extent of selective photooxidation of bacteriochlorophylls absorbing at ∼850 nm. We conclude that singlet-triplet fission of carotenoid excitation proceeds with participation of these excitonically coupled bacteriochlorophylls. In the framework of the proposed mechanism, the contradiction between LH2 structure and photophysical properties of carotenoids is eliminated. The possibility of singlet-triplet excitation fission involving a third mediator molecule was not considered earlier.

Key words

purple phototrophic bacteria light-harvesting complexes structural organization carotenoids singlet-triplet excitation fission 







circular dichroism


peripheral light-harvesting complex


reaction center


time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance


zero field splitting


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. B. Klenina
    • 1
    Email author
  • Z. K. Makhneva
    • 1
  • A. A. Moskalenko
    • 1
  • N. D. Gudkov
    • 1
  • M. A. Bolshakov
    • 1
  • E. A. Pavlova
    • 1
  • I. I. Proskuryakov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Basic Biological ProblemsRussian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow RegionRussia

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