Light-harvesting and structuralorganization ofphotosystem II: from individual complexes to thylakoid membrane

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Photosystem II (PSII) is responsible for the water oxidation in photosynthesis and it consists of many proteins and pigment-protein complexes in a variable composition, depending on environmental conditions. Sunlight-induced charge separation lies at the basis of the photochemical reactions and it occurs in the reaction center (RC). The RC is located in the PSII core which also contains light-harvesting complexes CP43 and CP47. The PSII core of plants is surrounded by external light-harvesting complexes (lhcs) forming supercomplexes, which together with additional external lhcs, are located in the thylakoid membrane where they perform their functions. In this paper we provide an overview of the available information on the structure and organization of pigment-protein complexes in PSII and relate this to experimental and theoretical results on excitation energy transfer (EET) and charge separation (CS). This is done for different subcomplexes, supercomplexes, PSII membranes and thylakoid membranes. Differences in experimental and theoretical results are discussed and the question is addressed how results and models for individual complexes relate to the results on larger systems. It is shown that it is still very difficult to combine all available results into one comprehensive picture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology. B, Biology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • excitation-energy transfer
  • time-resolved fluorescence
  • photosynthetic reaction centers
  • primary charge separation
  • carotenoid-binding-sites
  • higher-plant chloroplast
  • chlorophyll a/b complex
  • pump-probe spectroscopy
  • antenna complex
  • electron-transfer


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