Electronic Carotenoid-Chlorophyll Interactions Regulating Photosynthetic Light Harvesting of Higher Plants and Green Algae

  • Peter Jomo WallaEmail author
  • Christoph-Peter Holleboom
  • Graham R. FlemingEmail author
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 40)


Electronic interactions between chlorophylls (Chl) and carotenoids (Car) play a major role in the regulation of photosynthetic light harvesting of higher plants and green algae. In this contribution, we discuss different electronic regulation models that are based on various Chl-Car interactions, leading to switching between efficient light harvesting and thermal dissipation of excess energy. Most regulation models are based on three types of electronic Chl-Car interactions: direct Chl → Car S1 energy transfer, quenching by Car radical cations and bidirectional quenching processes. We will give an overview of the observations that have been made in our as well as other laboratories supporting one or the other model and discuss possible scenarios that may provide a unified picture considering all three types of regulation models.


Energy Transfer Transient Absorption Thermal Dissipation Excess Excitation Energy Efficient Light Harvesting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.








CP24, 26, 29

Minor chlorophyll proteins associated with Photosystem II;


Double bond;


Excited state absorption;

Fm, Fm

Maximal chlorophyll fluorescence in the limiting-light- and excess-light-state, respectively;


Chlorophyll fluorescence upon one-photon and two-photon excitation, respectively;


Gerade symmetry;


Light-harvesting complex 2 of purple bacteria;


Light-harvesting complex II of higher plants and algae;


Lutein-deficient mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana;


Non-photochemical quenching;

npq1, 2, 4

Mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana (1, no zeaxanthin; 2, enriched zeaxanthin; 4, no PsbS);


Pulse-amplitude modulation;


Photosystem I and II, respectively;


21-kDa photosystem II protein subunit;


Energy-dependent chlorophyll fluorescence quenching;

S0, 1, 2, n

Singlet energetic states (0, ground state; 1, 2, n, excited states);


Ungerade symmetry;



VAZ cycle

The xanthophyll cycle involving the carotenoids violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin;


Violaxanthin de-epoxidase enzyme;


Wild type;




Zeaxanthin epoxidase enzyme



PJW acknowledges support from the German Science Foundation (DFG) and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie. GRF’s work was supported in its entirety by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences Division, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC03-76SF00098.

We thank K. Amarnath and E. J. Sylak-Glassman for their help in preparing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomolecular Spectroscopy and Single-Molecule Detection GroupMax-Planck-Institute for Biophysical ChemistryGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biophysical ChemistryInstitute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Technische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Physical Biosciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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