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, 77 (8), 4712-6

Stoichiometry of System I and System II Reaction Centers and of Plastoquinone in Different Photosynthetic Membranes

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Stoichiometry of System I and System II Reaction Centers and of Plastoquinone in Different Photosynthetic Membranes

A Melis et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Abstract

The concentrations of photochemical centers and of plastoquinone were measured in several kinds of photosynthetic membranes by optical difference spectroscopy. Photosystem I reaction centers were measured from the light-induced absorbance change at 700 nm (oxidation of the primary electron donor, P700). Photosystem II reaction centers were estimated from the light-induced absorbance change at 325 nm (reduction of the primary electron acceptor, Q). Spinach chloroplasts and membrane fractions obtained by French press treatment, mature and developing pea chloroplasts, and blue-green algal membranes were investigated. No loss of primary photochemical activity occurred during fractionation of the chloroplasts. The results indicated a large variability in the ratio of system II to system I reaction centers (from 0.43 to 3.3) in different photosynthetic membranes. Oxygen-evolving plants may change the ratio of their photosystems in response to environmental light conditions. The amount of photoreducible plastoquinone was also measured at 263 nm. In spinach chloroplasts, seven to eight plastoquinone molecules were found per reaction center of system II. Most of the plastoquinone pool was associated with the grana. However, the ratio of chemically determined plastoquinone to chlorophyll was similar in the grana and stroma thylakoids.

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