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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2006 Feb 21;8(7):793-807. Epub 2005 Dec 8.

Energy transfer in photosynthesis: experimental insights and quantitative models.

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Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


We overview experimental and theoretical studies of energy transfer in the photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes LH1, LH2, and LHCII performed during the past decade since the discovery of high-resolution structure of these complexes. Experimental findings obtained with various spectroscopic techniques makes possible a modelling of the excitation dynamics at a quantitative level. The modified Redfield theory allows a precise assignment of the energy transfer pathways together with a direct visualization of the whole excitation dynamics where various regimes from a coherent motion of delocalized exciton to a hopping of localized excitations are superimposed. In a single complex it is possible to observe the switching between these regimes driven by slow conformational motion (as we demonstrate for LH2). Excitation dynamics under quenched conditions in higher-plant complexes is discussed.

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