Ultrafast energy transfer in light-harvesting chlorosomes from the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum

Sergei Savikhin, Paula I. van Noort, Yinwen Zhu, Su Lin, Robert E. Blankenship, Walter S. Struve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Two independent pump-probe techniques were used to study the antenna energy transfer kinetics of intact chlorosomes from the green bacterium Chlorobium tepidum with femtosecond resolution. The isotropic kinetics revealed by one-color experiments in the BChl c antenna were inhomogeneous with respect to wavelength. Multiexponential analyses of the photobleaching/stimulated emission (PB/SE) decay profiles typically yielded (apart from a ≈10 fs component that may stem from the initial coherent oscillation) components with lifetimes 1-2 ps and several tens of ps. The largest amplitudes for the latter component occur at 810 nm, the longest wavelength studied. Analyses of most two-color pump-probe profiles with the probe wavelength red-shifted from the pump wavelength yielded no PB/SE rise components. PB/SE components with ≈ 1 ps risetime were found in 790 → 810 and 790 → 820 nm profiles, in which the probe wavelength is situated well into the BChl a absorption region. A 760 → 740 nm uphill two-color experiment yielded a PB/SE component with 4-6 ps risetime. Broadband absorption difference spectra of chlorosomes excited at 720 nm (in the blue edge of the 746 nm BChl c Qy band) exhibit ≈15 nm red-shifting of the PB/SE peak wavelength during the first several hundred fs. Analogous spectra excited at 760 nm (at the red edge) show little dynamic spectral shifting. Our results suggest that inhomogeneous broadening and spectral equilibration play a larger role in the early BChl c antenna kinetics in chlorosomes from C. tepidum than in those from C. aurantiacus, a system studied previously. As in C. aurantiacus, the initial one-color anisotropies r(0) for most BChl c wavelengths are close t0 0.4. The corresponding residual anisotropies r(∞) are typically 0.19-0.25, which is much lower than found in C. aurantiacus (>/0.35); the transition moment organization is appreciably less collinear in the BChl c antenna of C. tepidum. However, the final one-color anisotropies at 789 and 801 nm are ≈ 0 and 0.09 respectively, and the final anisotropy in the 780 → 800 nm experiment is ≈ -0.1. These facts indicate that the BChl a transition moments themselves exhibit some order, and are directed at an angle >54.7° on the average from the BChl c moments. The one-color profiles exhibit coherent oscillations at most wavelengths, including 800 nm; Fourier analyses of these oscillations frequently yield components with frequencies 70-80 and 130-140 cm-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Physics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - May 15 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrafast energy transfer in light-harvesting chlorosomes from the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this