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Biochemistry. 2001 Dec 25;40(51):15780-8.

Interaction of phycobilisomes with photosystem II dimers and photosystem I monomers and trimers in the cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis.

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A. N. Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117071, Russia.


Distribution of phycobilisomes between photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) complexes in the cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis has been studied by analysis of the action spectra of H2 and O2 photoevolution and by analysis of the 77 K fluorescence excitation and emission spectra of the photosystems. PSI monomers and trimers were spectrally discriminated in the cell by the unique 760 nm low-temperature fluorescence, emitted by the trimers under reductive conditions. The phycobilisome-specific 625 nm peak was observed in the action spectra of both PSI and PSII, as well as in the 77 K fluorescence excitation spectra for chlorophyll emission at 695 nm (PSII), 730 nm (PSI monomers), and 760 nm (PSI trimers). The contributions of phycobilisomes to the absorption, action, and excitation spectra were derived from the in vivo absorption coefficients of phycobiliproteins and of chlorophyll. Analyzing the sum of PSI and PSII action spectra against the absorption spectrum and estimating the P700:P680 reaction center ratio of 5.7 in Spirulina, we calculated that PSII contained only 5% of the total chlorophyll, while PSI carried the greatest part, about 95%. Quantitative analysis of the obtained data showed that about 20% of phycobilisomes in Spirulina cells are bound to PSII, while 60% of phycobilisomes transfer the energy to PSI trimers, and the remaining 20% are associated with PSI monomers. A relevant model of organization of phycobilisomes and chlorophyll pigment-protein complexes in Spirulina is proposed. It is suggested that phycobilisomes are connected with PSII dimers, PSI trimers, and coupled PSI monomers.

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