Simulated two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy of the eight-bacteriochlorophyll FMO complex

J Chem Phys. 2014 Dec 21;141(23):234105. doi: 10.1063/1.4903546.


The Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein-pigment complex acts as a molecular wire conducting energy between the outer antenna system and the reaction center; it is an important photosynthetic system to study the transfer of excitonic energy. Recent crystallographic studies report the existence of an additional (eighth) bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) in some of the FMO monomers. To understand the functionality of this eighth BChl, we simulated the two-dimensional electronic spectra of both the 7-site (apo form) and the 8-site (holo form) variant of the FMO complex from green sulfur bacteria, Prosthecochloris aestuarii. By comparing the spectrum, it was found that the eighth BChl can affect two different excitonic energy transfer pathways: (1) it is directly involved in the first apo form pathway (6 → 3 → 1) by passing the excitonic energy to exciton 6; and (2) it facilitates an increase in the excitonic wave function overlap between excitons 4 and 5 in the second pathway (7 → 4,5 → 2 → 1) and thus increases the possible downward sampling routes across the BChls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption, Physicochemical
  • Apoproteins / chemistry
  • Apoproteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacteriochlorophylls / chemistry*
  • Bacteriochlorophylls / metabolism*
  • Chlorobi / metabolism
  • Electrons*
  • Energy Transfer
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / chemistry*
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Photons
  • Spectrum Analysis*
  • Temperature


  • Apoproteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacteriochlorophylls
  • FMO bacteriochlorophyll protein, Bacteria
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes