Photosynthesis Without the Organisms: The Bacterial Chromatophores

  • Emiliano Altamura
  • Fabio Mavelli
  • Francesco Milano
  • Massimo TrottaEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Bioengineering book series (LNBE)


Anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria are an extremely old form of life that inhabits planet Earth since approximately 3 Gya. They represent the model system for the far more complex photosynthetic organisms appeared later in time, i.e. cyanobacteria, algae and plants, and capable of performing the oxygenic photosynthesis. In this chapter we wish to present a short review of the cell architecture of one specific phototrophic bacterium, namely Rhodobacter sphaeroides, devoting particular attention to cytoplasmic membrane and its invagination originating under anoxygenic conditions and exposure to light. The structure and enzyme organization of the so-called chromatophores of two strains of Rhodobacter sphaeroides are presented, along with the isolation and purification procedures.


Photosynthetic bacteria 



MT wishes to thank Prof. Benoît Leblanc, Université de Sherbrooke (Canada) for the scheme of the French press cell reproduced in Fig. 7.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emiliano Altamura
    • 1
  • Fabio Mavelli
    • 1
  • Francesco Milano
    • 2
  • Massimo Trotta
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento Di ChimicaUniversità Degli Studi “Aldo Moro” Di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.IPCF-CNR Istituto Per I Processi Chimico Fisici, Consiglio Nazionale Delle RicercheBariItaly

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