Photophysics of the carotenoids associated with the xanthophyll cycle in photosynthesis

Harry A. Frank, Agnes Cua, Veeradej Chynwat, Andrew Young, David Gosztola, Michael R Wasielewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

302 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Green plants use the xanthophyll cycle to regulate the flow of energy to chlorophyll a within photosynthetic proteins. Under conditions of low light intensity violaxanthin, a carotenoid possessing nine conjugated double bonds, functions as an antenna pigment by transferring energy from its lowest excited singlet state to that of chlorophyll a within light-harvesting proteins. When the light intensity increases, violaxanthin is biochemically transformed into zeaxanthin, a carotenoid that possesses eleven conjugated double bonds. The results presented here show that extension of the {squared rising diagonal slash} conjugation of the polyene lowers the energy of the lowest excited singlet state of the carotenoid below that of chlorophyll a. As a consequence zeaxanthin can act as a trap for the excess excitation energy on chlorophyll a pigments within the protein, thus regulating the flow of energy within photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-395
Number of pages7
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1994

Fingerprint

Xanthophylls
Photosynthesis
Carotenoids
lutein
carotenoids
photosynthesis
chlorophyll
Light
violaxanthin
energy flow
zeaxanthin
Excited states
Pigments
light intensity
energy
Proteins
proteins
pigments
Viridiplantae
Polyenes

Keywords

  • antheraxanthin
  • excited state
  • femtosecond
  • spectroscopy
  • violaxantin
  • zeaxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

Cite this

Photophysics of the carotenoids associated with the xanthophyll cycle in photosynthesis. / Frank, Harry A.; Cua, Agnes; Chynwat, Veeradej; Young, Andrew; Gosztola, David; Wasielewski, Michael R.

In: Photosynthesis Research, Vol. 41, No. 3, 09.1994, p. 389-395.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frank, Harry A. ; Cua, Agnes ; Chynwat, Veeradej ; Young, Andrew ; Gosztola, David ; Wasielewski, Michael R. / Photophysics of the carotenoids associated with the xanthophyll cycle in photosynthesis. In: Photosynthesis Research. 1994 ; Vol. 41, No. 3. pp. 389-395.
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