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Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Jul;6(7):301-5.

Balance of power: a view of the mechanism of photosynthetic state transitions.

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  • 1Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, Dept Plant Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 40 Thorvaldsensvej, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Photosynthesis in plants involves photosystem I and photosystem II, both of which use light energy to drive redox processes. Plants can balance the distribution of absorbed light energy between the two photosystems. When photosystem II is favoured, a mobile pool of light harvesting complex II moves from photosystem II to photosystem I. This short-term and reversible redistribution is known as a state transition. It is associated with changes in the phosphorylation of light harvesting complex II but the regulation is complex. Redistribution of energy during state transitions depends on an altered binding equilibrium between the light harvesting complex II-photosystem II and light harvesting complex II-photosystem I complexes.

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