Stark effect measurements on monomers and trimers of reconstituted light-harvesting complex II of plants

M.A. Palacios, S. Caffarri, R. Bassi, R. van Grondelle, H. van Amerongen

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The electric-field induced absorption changes (Stark effect) of reconstituted light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) in different oligomerisation states - monomers and trimers - with different xanthophyll content have been probed at 77 K. The Stark spectra of the reconstituted control samples, containing the xanthophylls lutein and neoxanthin, are very similar to previously reported spectra of native LHCII. Reconstituted LHCII, containing lutein but no neoxanthin, shows a similar electrooptical response in the Chl a region, but the Stark signal of Chl b around 650 nm amounts to at most ~25% of that of the control samples. We conclude that neoxanthin strongly modifies the electronic states of the nearby Chl b molecules causing a large electrooptical response at 650 nm stemming from one or more Chls b in the control samples. Ambiguities about the assignment of several bands in the Soret region [Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1605 (2003) 83] are resolved and the striking difference in electric field response between the two lutein molecules is confirmed. The Stark effect in the carotenoid spectral region in both control and neoxanthin-deficient samples is almost identical, showing that the neoxanthin Stark signal is small and much less intense than the lutein Stark signal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-188
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta. B, Bioenergetics
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • carotenoid-binding-sites
  • chlorophyll-a/b-protein
  • energy-transfer
  • photosystem-ii
  • green plants
  • antenna complex
  • lhc-ii
  • excitation-energy
  • xanthophylls
  • spectroscopy


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