Carotenoid triplet states in reaction centers from Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides and Rhodospirillum rubrum

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1975 Dec 11;408(3):189-99. doi: 10.1016/0005-2728(75)90122-x.


Purified photochemical reaction centers from three strains of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides and two of Rhodospirillium rubrum were reduced with Na2S2O4 so as to block their photochemical electron transfer reactions. They then were excited with flashes lasting 5-30 ns. In all cases, absorbance measurements showed that the flash caused the immediate formation of a transient state (PF) which had been detected previously in reaction centers from Rps. sphaeroides strain R26. Previous work has shown that state PF is an intermediate in the photochemical electron transfer reaction in the reaction centers of that particular strain, and the present work generalizes that conclusion. In the reaction centers from two strains that lack carotenoids (Rps. sphaeroides R26 and R. rubrum G9), the decay of PF yields a longer-lived state (PR) which is probably a triplet state of the bacteriochlorophyll of the reaction center. In the R26 preparation, the decay of PF was found to have a half-time of 10 +/- 2 ns. The decay kinetics rule out the identification of PF as the fluorescent excited singlet state of the reaction center. In the reaction centers from three strains that contain carotenoids (Rps sphaeroides 2.4.1 and Ga, and R. rubrum S1), state PR was not detected, and the decay of PF generated triplet states of carotenoids. The efficiency of the coupling between the decay of PF and the formation of the carotenoid triplet appeared to be close to 100% at room temperature, but somewhat lower at 77 degrees K. Taken with previous results, this suggests that the coupling is direct and does not require the intermediate formation of state PR. This conclusion would be consistent with the view that PF is a biradical which can be triplet in character.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / metabolism*
  • Electron Transport
  • Freezing
  • Kinetics
  • Light
  • Mutation
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides / metabolism*
  • Rhodospirillum rubrum / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Spectrophotometry


  • Carotenoids