Chlorosomes: Structure, Function and Assembly

Chapter

Summary

Chlorosomes are light-harvesting complexes found in photosynthetic bacteria belonging to three diverse phyla: Chlorobi, Chloroflexi and Acidobacteria. They are composed of bacteriochlorophylls with minor contributions from proteins, lipids, carotenoids and quinones. Proteins are confined to the surface of the chlorosome while most bacteriochlorophyll molecules are found within the interior where they assemble into aggregates. These aggregates consist of lamellar structures, in which bacteriochlorophylls form curved layers while hydrophobic esterifying alcohols of bacteriochlorophylls from adjacent layers interdigitate and hold the system together. Such an arrangement supports strong excitonic coupling between the pigments within a layer and enables efficient excitation energy transfer. This chapter surveys general features of the chlorosome, including structure, energy transfer, photoprotective mechanisms and assembly.

Abbreviations:

BChl

– Bacteriochlorophyll;

Cba –

Chlorobaculum;

CD

– Circular dichroism;

Cfl

– Chloroflexus;

Chl. –

Chlorobium

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jakub Pšenčík
    • 1
  • Sarah J. Butcher
    • 2
  • Roman Tuma
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of BiotechnologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular BiologyUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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