Time-resolved spectroscopy of energy and electron transfer processes in the photosynthetic bacterium Heliobacillus mobilis

Su Lin, H. C. Chiou, F. A M Kleinherenbrink, R. E. Blankenship

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70 Scopus citations


The kinetics of excitation energy transfer and electron transfer processes within the membrane of Heliobacillus mobilis were investigated using femtosecond transient absorption difference spectroscopy at room temperature. The kinetics in the 725- to 865-nm region, upon excitation at 590 and 670 nm, were fit using global analysis. The fits returned three kinetic components with lifetimes of 1–2 ps and 27–30 ps, and a component that does not decay within several nanoseconds. The 1- to 2-ps component is attributed to excitation equilibration to form a thermally relaxed excited state. The 27- to 30-ps phase corresponds to the decay of the relaxed excited state to form a charge-separated state. The intrinsic energy and electron transfer rates were estimated using the experimental results and theoretical models for excitation migration and trapping dynamics. Taking into account the number of antenna pigments and their spectral distribution, an upper limit of 1.2 ps for the intrinsic time constant for charge separation in the reaction center is calculated. This upper limit corresponds with the trapping-limited case for excitation migration and trapping. Reduction of the primary electron acceptor A0 was observed in the 640 to 700 nm region using excitation at 780 nm. An instantaneous absorbance increase followed by a decay of about 30 ps was observed over a broad wavelength region due to the excited state absorption and decay of BChl g molecules in the antenna. In addition, a narrow bleaching band centered at 670 nm grows in with an apparent time constant of about 1.0 ps, superimposed on the 30-ps absorbance increase due to excited state absorption.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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