Charges Recombination Kinetics in Bacterial Photosynthetic Reaction Centers: Conformational States in Equilibrium Pre-Exist in the Dark

  • Barbara Schoepp
  • Pierre Parot
  • Jean Lavorel
  • André Verméglio
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 237)


In whole bacterial cells (or in chromatophores) treated with orthophenantrolin, or in purified reaction centers, RCs, prepared with only one quinone acceptor, QA, the P+Q A - state resulting from the photochemical charge separation only decays by recombination (P+Q A - → PQA). Several years ago, we have studied the complex wavelength dependence of the P+Q A - decay at cryogenic temperatures and revealed its biphasicity for RCs and chromatophores of Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodospirillum rubrum. In order to explain this biphasicity we proposed that the RCs were present in two conformational states1,2,3. On the other hand, for these same species, at room temperature, the decay is monophasic, suggesting that under this condition the two conformational states can equilibrate rapidly4. Numerous instances of polyphasic kinetics in bacterial systems have been documented. Biphasicity of charge recombination from P+Q A - or P+Q B - at room temperature has been reported in Rhodopseudomonas viridis RCs5,6,7 and Rhodobacter sphaeroides RCs where the native ubiquinone has been replaced by anthraquinone8. The above results have been interpreted as originating from two distinct conformational states pre-existing the excitation flash. In the nanosecond time range, Woodbury and Parson9 have observed polyphasic fluorescence decay. Careful analysis of the formation and decay of the P+I- state shows that these events appear with a range of time constants depending on the detecting wavelength10. In Chloroflexus aurantiacus at low temperature, the decay of P* is clearly non-exponential11. A proposed possible explanation of this heterogeneity could be a rapid interconversion among a distribution of conformational states in the excited state P*


Reaction Center Slow Component Conformational State Charge Recombination Rhodobacter Sphaeroides 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Schoepp
    • 1
  • Pierre Parot
    • 1
  • Jean Lavorel
    • 1
  • André Verméglio
    • 1
  1. 1.DPVE/SBCC.E. CadaracheSaint-Paul-lez-DuranceFrance

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