Assembly and Disassembly of Phycobilisomes

  • Noam Adir
  • Monica Dines
  • Merav Klartag
  • Ailie McGregor
  • Meira Melamed-Frank
Chapter
Part of the Microbiology Monographs book series (MICROMONO, volume 2)

Abstract

The process of photosynthesis is initiated by the absorption of light energy by large arrays of pigmentsbound in an ordered fashion within protein complexes called antennas. These antennas transfer the absorbedenergy at almost 100% efficiency to the reaction centers that perform the photochemical electron transferreactions required for the conversion of the light energy into useful and storable chemical energy. Inprokaryotic cyanobacteria, eukaryotic red algae and cyanelles, the major antenna complex is called the phycobilisome,an extremely large (3–7 MDa) multi subunit complex found on the stromal side of the thylakoidmembrane. Phycobilisomes are assembled in an ordered sequence from similarly structured units that covalentlybind a variety of linear tetrapyrolle pigments called bilins. Phycobilisomes have a broad cross-sectionof absorption (500–680 nm) and mainly transfer the absorbed energy to photosystem II. Theycan, however, function as an antenna of photosystem I, and their composition can be altered as a resultof changes in the environmental light quality. The phycobilisome is structurally and functionally differentfrom other classes of photosynthetic antenna complexes. In this review, we will describe the importantstructural and functional characteristics of the phycobilisome complex and its components, especially withrespect to its assembly and disassembly.

Abbreviations

APC

allophycocyanin

CCA

complementary chromatic adaptation

LHC

light harvesting complex

PB(s)

phycobilin(s)

PBS(s)

phycobilisome(s)

PBP(s)

phycobiliprotein(s)

PC

phycocyanin

PCB

phycocyanobilin

PE

phycoerythrin

PEB

phycoerythrobilin

PUB

phycourobilin

PXB

phycoviobilin

PSI

photosystem I

PSII

photosystem II

RC(s)

reaction center(s)

TEM

transmission electron microscopy

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noam Adir
    • 1
  • Monica Dines
    • 1
  • Merav Klartag
    • 1
  • Ailie McGregor
    • 1
  • Meira Melamed-Frank
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, TechnionIsrael Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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