Mechanism of Charge Separation in Purple Bacterial Reaction Centers

Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 28)

Summary

This chapter discusses the pathway, kinetics and energetics of the initial electron-transfer steps in reaction centers (RCs) from purple photosynthetic bacteria. We consider the unusual dependence of the kinetics on temperature, the strong specificity of the reactions for electron acceptors on the ‘A’ side of the RC, effects of vibrational wavepackets, the multiphasic nature of the kinetics, effects of mutations and pigment substitutions, and links between the kinetics of electron transfer and vibrational equilibration. We then discuss some of the theories that have been used to rationalize the dynamics and temperature dependence of the electron-transfer reactions, including Marcus theory, coupling to quantized vibrational modes and density-matrix treatments. Our discussion illustrates the power of microscopic simulations for connecting structural information with mechanistic interpretations.

Keywords

Chlorophyll Tyrosine Recombination Coherence Tryptophan 

Abbreviations

BA, BB

monomeric BChls that serve as electron acceptors in the RC

BChl

bacteriochlorophyll

BPhe

bacteriopheophytin

HA, HB

BPhes that serve as electron acceptors

MD

molecular dynamics

P

the special pair of BChls that acts as the primary electron donor

Pheo

pheophytin

RC

reaction center

UV

ultra-violet

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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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