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Chapter 8

Structure and Function of Photosystem II Light-Harvesting Proteins (Lhcb) of Higher Plants

Most of the pigments of Photosystem II are bound to the outer Lhcb antenna complexes, LHCII, CP29, CP26 and CP24. The major light-harvesting complex LHCII is the dominant one, and it has been the subject of numerous spectroscopic and biochemical studies. This has led to a rather detailed picture of the processes occurring in LHCII. Its recently determined crystal structure helps to visualize these processes, and many structural details agree with earlier spectroscopic and biochemical findings, particularly light harvesting and triplet quenching. Other topics still need clarification; for LHCII and CP29 biochemical and spectroscopic evidence has been collected that some chlorophyll binding sites (can) bind both chlorophyll a and b, but this is not apparent from the structural studies. CP26 and CP24 have been studied in far less detail. Specific roles of individual complexes are still under investigation and it is also largely unknown how individual complexes interact and cooperate. Nevertheless, the overall transfer of excitation energy throughout the antenna to the reaction center is clearly relatively slow. Understanding the involvement of the various complexes in regulation and photoprotection constitute major goals for scientific research in the near future.

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29 Nov 2007
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