Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Why are photosynthetic reaction centres dimeric?

Author affiliations

Abstract

All photosynthetic organisms convert solar energy into chemical energy through charge separation in dimeric reaction centres. It is unknown why early reaction centres dimerised and completely displaced their monomeric ancestors. Here, we discuss several proposed explanations for reaction-centre dimerism and conclude—with only weak assumptions about the primordial dimerisation event—that the most probable explanation for the dimerism is that it arose because it enhanced light-harvesting efficiency by deepening the excitonic trap, i.e., by enhancing the rate of exciton transfer from an antenna complex and decreasing the rate of back transfer. This effect would have outweighed the negative effect dimerisation would have had on charge transfer within the reaction centre. Our argument implies that dimerisation likely occurred after the evolution of the first antennas, and it explains why the lower-energy state of the special pair is bright.

Graphical abstract: Why are photosynthetic reaction centres dimeric?

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 28 Jul 2019, accepted on 23 Aug 2019 and first published on 26 Aug 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03712H
Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

  •   Request permissions

    Why are photosynthetic reaction centres dimeric?

    N. Taylor and I. Kassal, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03712H

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements