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Trends Plant Sci. 2013 May;18(5):277-86. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Investigation of photosynthetic membrane structure using atomic force microscopy.

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Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Crown Street, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK.


Photosynthetic processes, including light capture, electron transfer, and energy conversion, are not only ensured by the activities of individual photosynthetic complexes but also substantially determined and regulated by the composition and assembly of the overall photosynthetic apparatus at the supramolecular level. In recent years, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has matured as a unique and powerful tool for directly assessing the supramolecular assembly of integral membrane protein complexes in their native membrane environment at submolecular resolution. This review highlights the major contributions and advances of AFM studies to our understanding of the structure of the bacterial photosynthetic machinery and its regulatory arrangement during chromatic adaptation. AFM topographs of other biological membrane systems and potential future applications of AFM are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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