Direct visualization of exciton reequilibration in the LH1 and LH2 complexes of Rhodobacter sphaeroides by multipulse spectroscopy.
ABSTRACT: The dynamics of the excited states of the light-harvesting complexes LH1 and LH2 of Rhodobacter sphaeroides are governed, mainly, by the excitonic nature of these ring-systems. In a pump-dump-probe experiment, the first pulse promotes LH1 or LH2 to its excited state and the second pulse dumps a portion of the excited state. By selective dumping, we can disentangle the dynamics normally hidden in the excited-state manifold. We find that by using this multiple-excitation technique we can visualize a 400-fs reequilibration reflecting relaxation between the two lowest exciton states that cannot be directly explored by conventional pump-probe. An oscillatory feature is observed within the exciton reequilibration, which is attributed to a coherent motion of a vibrational wavepacket with a period of ?150 fs. Our disordered exciton model allows a quantitative interpretation of the observed reequilibration processes occurring in these antennas.
Project description:Energy transfer (ET) between B850 and B875 molecules in light harvesting complexes LH2 and LH1/RC (reaction center) complexes has been investigated in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris grown under high- and low-light conditions. In these bacteria, illumination intensity during growth strongly affects the type of LH2 complexes synthesized, their optical spectra, and their amount of energetic disorder. We used a specially built femtosecond spectrometer, combining tunable narrowband pump with broadband white-light probe pulses, together with an analytical method based on derivative spectroscopy for disentangling the congested transient absorption spectra of LH1 and LH2 complexes. This procedure allows real-time tracking of the forward (LH2 ? LH1) and backward (LH2?LH1) ET processes and unambiguous determination of the corresponding rate constants. In low-light grown samples, we measured lower ET rates in both directions with respect to high-light ones, which is explained by reduced spectral overlap between B850 and B875 due to partial redistribution of oscillator strength into a higher energetic exciton transition. We find that the low-light adaptation in R. palustris leads to a reduced elementary backward ET rate, in accordance with the low probability of two simultaneous excitations reaching the same LH1/RC complex under weak illumination. Our study suggests that backward ET is not just an inevitable consequence of vectorial ET with small energetic offsets, but is in fact actively managed by photosynthetic bacteria.
Project description:The peripheral light-harvesting antenna complex (LH2) of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ideal testing ground for models of structure-function relationships due to its well-determined molecular structure and ultrafast energy deactivation. It has been the target for numerous studies in both theory and ultrafast spectroscopy; nevertheless, certain aspects of the convoluted relaxation network of LH2 lack a satisfactory explanation by conventional theories. For example, the initial carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer step necessary on visible light excitation was long considered to follow the Förster mechanism, even though transfer times as short as 40 femtoseconds (fs) have been observed. Such transfer times are hard to accommodate by Förster theory, as the moderate coupling strengths found in LH2 suggest much slower transfer within this framework. In this study, we investigate LH2 from Phaeospirillum (Ph.) molischianum in two types of transient absorption experiments-with narrowband pump and white-light probe resulting in 100 fs time resolution, and with degenerate broadband 10 fs pump and probe pulses. With regard to the split Qx band in this system, we show that vibronically mediated transfer explains both the ultrafast carotenoid-to-B850 transfer, and the almost complete lack of transfer to B800. These results are beyond Förster theory, which predicts an almost equal partition between the two channels.
Project description:The individual components of the photosynthetic unit (PSU), the light-harvesting complexes (LH2 and LH1) and the reaction center (RC), are structurally and functionally known in great detail. An important current challenge is the study of their assembly within native membranes. Here, we present AFM topographs at 12 A resolution of native membranes containing all constituents of the PSU from Rhodospirillum photometricum. Besides the major technical advance represented by the acquisition of such highly resolved data of a complex membrane, the images give new insights into the organization of this energy generating apparatus in Rsp. photometricum: (i) there is a variable stoichiometry of LH2, (ii) the RC is completely encircled by a closed LH1 assembly, (iii) the LH1 assembly around the RC forms an ellipse, (iv) the PSU proteins cluster together segregating out of protein free lipid bilayers, (v) core complexes cluster although enough LH2 are present to prevent core-core contacts, and (vi) there is no cytochrome bc1 complex visible in close proximity to the RCs. The functional significance of all these findings is discussed.
Project description:Allochromatium vinosum (formerly Chromatium vinosum) purple bacteria are known to adapt their light-harvesting strategy during growth according to environmental factors such as temperature and average light intensity. Under low light illumination or low ambient temperature conditions, most of the LH2 complexes in the photosynthetic membranes form a B820 exciton with reduced spectral overlap with LH1. To elucidate the reason for this light and temperature adaptation of the LH2 electronic structure, we performed broadband femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy as a function of excitation wavelength in A. vinosum membranes. A target analysis of the acquired data yielded individual rate constants for all relevant elementary energy transfer (ET) processes. We found that the ET dynamics in high-light-grown membranes was well described by a homogeneous model, with forward and backward rate constants independent of the pump wavelength. Thus, the overall B800?B850?B890? Reaction Center ET cascade is well described by simple triexponential kinetics. In the low-light-grown membranes, we found that the elementary backward transfer rate constant from B890 to B820 was strongly reduced compared with the corresponding constant from B890 to B850 in high-light-grown samples. The ET dynamics of low-light-grown membranes was strongly dependent on the pump wavelength, clearly showing that the excitation memory is not lost throughout the exciton lifetime. The observed pump energy dependence of the forward and backward ET rate constants suggests exciton diffusion via B850? B850 transfer steps, making the overall ET dynamics nonexponential. Our results show that disorder plays a crucial role in our understanding of low-light adaptation in A. vinosum.
Project description:Gold nanostructure arrays exhibit surface plasmon resonances that split after attaching light harvesting complexes 1 and 2 (LH1 and LH2) from purple bacteria. The splitting is attributed to strong coupling between the localized surface plasmon resonances and excitons in the light-harvesting complexes. Wild-type and mutant LH1 and LH2 from Rhodobacter sphaeroides containing different carotenoids yield different splitting energies, demonstrating that the coupling mechanism is sensitive to the electronic states in the light harvesting complexes. Plasmon-exciton coupling models reveal different coupling strengths depending on the molecular organization and the protein coverage, consistent with strong coupling. Strong coupling was also observed for self-assembling polypeptide maquettes that contain only chlorins. However, it is not observed for monolayers of bacteriochlorophyll, indicating that strong plasmon-exciton coupling is sensitive to the specific presentation of the pigment molecules.
Project description:Light-harvesting complexes 2 (LH2) are the accessory antenna proteins in the bacterial photosynthetic apparatus and are built up of alphabeta-heterodimers containing three bacteriochlorophylls and one carotenoid each. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate reconstituted LH2 from Rubrivivax gelatinosus, which has a C-terminal hydrophobic extension of 21 amino acids on the alpha-subunit. High-resolution topographs revealed a nonameric organization of the regularly packed cylindrical complexes incorporated into the membrane in both orientations. Native LH2 showed one surface which protruded by approximately 6 A and one that protruded by approximately 14 A from the membrane. Topographs of samples reconstituted with thermolysin-digested LH2 revealed a height reduction of the strongly protruding surface to approximately 9 A, and a change of its surface appearance. These results suggested that the alpha-subunit of R.gelatinosus comprises a single transmembrane helix and an extrinsic C-terminus, and allowed the periplasmic surface to be assigned. Occasionally, large rings ( approximately 120 A diameter) surrounded by LH2 rings were observed. Their diameter and appearance suggest the large rings to be LH1 complexes.
Project description:Excitation energy transfer events in the photosynthetic light harvesting complex 2 (LH2) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides are investigated with polarization controlled two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy. A spectrally broadened pulse allows simultaneous measurement of the energy transfer within and between the two absorption bands at 800 nm and 850 nm. The phased all-parallel polarization two-dimensional spectra resolve the initial events of energy transfer by separating the intra-band and inter-band relaxation processes across the two-dimensional map. The internal dynamics of the 800 nm region of the spectra are resolved as a cross peak that grows in on an ultrafast time scale, reflecting energy transfer between higher lying excitations of the B850 chromophores into the B800 states. We utilize a polarization sequence designed to highlight the initial excited state dynamics which uncovers an ultrafast transfer component between the two bands that was not observed in the all-parallel polarization data. We attribute the ultrafast transfer component to energy transfer from higher energy exciton states to lower energy states of the strongly coupled B850 chromophores. Connecting the spectroscopic signature to the molecular structure, we reveal multiple relaxation pathways including a cyclic transfer of energy between the two rings of the complex.
Project description:LH2 from the purple photosynthetic bacterium Marichromatium (formerly known as Chromatium) purpuratum is an integral membrane pigment-protein complex that is involved in harvesting light energy and transferring it to the LH1-RC `core' complex. The purified LH2 complex was crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method at 294?K. The crystals diffracted to a resolution of 6?Å using synchrotron radiation and belonged to the tetragonal space group I4, with unit-cell parameters a=b=109.36, c=80.45?Å. The data appeared to be twinned, producing apparent diffraction symmetry I422. The tetragonal symmetry of the unit cell and diffraction for the crystals of the LH2 complex from this species reveal that this complex is an octamer.
Project description:We present a novel optical transient absorption and reflection microscope based on a diffraction-limited pump pulse in combination with a wide-field probe pulse, for the spatiotemporal investigation of ultrafast population transport in thin films. The microscope achieves a temporal resolution down to 12 fs and simultaneously provides sub-10 nm spatial accuracy. We demonstrate the capabilities of the microscope by revealing an ultrafast excited-state exciton population transport of up to 32 nm in a thin film of pentacene and by tracking the carrier motion in p-doped silicon. The use of few-cycle optical excitation pulses enables impulsive stimulated Raman microspectroscopy, which is used for in situ verification of the chemical identity in the 100-2000 cm-1 spectral window. Our methodology bridges the gap between optical microscopy and spectroscopy, allowing for the study of ultrafast transport properties down to the nanometer length scale.
Project description:The mapping of the photosynthetic membrane of Rhodobacter sphaeroides by atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed a unique organization of arrays of dimeric reaction center-light harvesting I-PufX (RC-LH1-PufX) core complexes surrounded and interconnected by light-harvesting LH2 complexes (Bahatyrova, S., Frese, R. N., Siebert, C. A., Olsen, J. D., van der Werf, K. O., van Grondelle, R., Niederman, R. A., Bullough, P. A., Otto, C., and Hunter, C. N. (2004) Nature 430, 1058-1062). However, membrane regions consisting solely of LH2 complexes were under-represented in these images because these small, highly curved areas of membrane rendered them difficult to image even using gentle tapping mode AFM and impossible with contact mode AFM. We report AFM imaging of membranes prepared from a mutant of R. sphaeroides, DPF2G, that synthesizes only the LH2 complexes, which assembles spherical intracytoplasmic membrane vesicles of approximately 53 nm diameter in vivo. By opening these vesicles and adsorbing them onto mica to form small, < or =120 nm, largely flat sheets we have been able to visualize the organization of these LH2-only membranes for the first time. The transition from highly curved vesicle to the planar sheet is accompanied by a change in the packing of the LH2 complexes such that approximately half of the complexes are raised off the mica surface by approximately 1 nm relative to the rest. This vertical displacement produces a very regular corrugated appearance of the planar membrane sheets. Analysis of the topographs was used to measure the distances and angles between the complexes. These data are used to model the organization of LH2 complexes in the original, curved membrane. The implications of this architecture for the light harvesting function and diffusion of quinones in native membranes of R. sphaeroides are discussed.