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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1980 Aug 5;592(1):87-102.

The role of membrane surface charge in the control of photosynthetic processes and the involvement of electrostatic screening.


Calculations of changes of the integrated space charge density within the diffuse layer adjacent to a negatively charged membrane surface have been made using analytical expressions derived from the full non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation of the Gouy-Chapman theory. This electrostatic screening parameter has been examined for mixed electrolytes of valency type Z1+/Z1- and Z2+/Z1- and concentration ranges were chosen so as to compare with experimental data obtained with thylakoid membranes. The results of the analysis are consistent with previous arguments (Barber, J., Mills, J.D. and Love, A. (1977) FEBS Letts. 74, 174-181) that this screening parameter is involved in the control of salt induced chlorophyll fluorescence and thylakoid stacking changes. Phenomenological equations suggesting the origin of the variations in the integrated space charge density for various salt conditions are presented. Overall the integrated space charge density (sigma chi) is shown to be a more satisfactory measure of both short and long range effects associated with electrostatic screening and double layer repulsion of charged surfaces than the planar space charge density (rho chi).

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