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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

Plasticity in the composition of the light harvesting antenna of higher plants preserves structural integrity and biological function

Ruban AV, Solovieva S, Lee PJ, Ilioaia C, Wentworth M, Ganeteg U, Klimmek F, Chow WS, Anderson JM, Jansson S, Horton P


Arabidopsis plants in which the major trimeric light harvesting complex ( LHCIIb) is eliminated by antisense expression still exhibit the typical macrostructure of photosystem II in the granal membranes. Here the detailed analysis of the composition and the functional state of the light harvesting antennae of both photosystem I and II of these plants is presented. Two new populations of trimers were found, both functional in energy transfer to the PSII reaction center, a homotrimer of CP26 and a heterotrimer of CP26 and Lhcb3. These trimers possess characteristic features thought to be specific for the native LHCIIb trimers they are replacing: the long wavelength form of lutein and at least one extra chlorophyll b, but they were less stable. A new population of loosely bound LHCI was also found, contributing to an increased antenna size for photosystem I, which may in part compensate for the loss of the phosphorylated LHCIIb that can associate with this photosystem. Thus, the loss of LHCIIb has triggered concerted compensatory responses in the composition of antennae of both photosystems. These responses clearly show the importance of LHCIIb in the structure and assembly of the photosynthetic membrane and illustrate the extreme plasticity at the level of the composition of the light harvesting system

Published in

Journal of Biological Chemistry
2006, Volume: 281, number: 21, pages: 14981-14990