A dimeric chlorophyll electron acceptor differentiates type I from type II photosynthetic reaction centers

Michael J. Gorka, Philip Charles, Vidmantas Kalendra, Amgalanbaatar Baldansuren, K. V. Lakshmi, John H. Golbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This research addresses one of the most compelling issues in the field of photosynthesis, namely, the role of the accessory chlorophyll molecules in primary charge separation. Using a combination of empirical and computational methods, we demonstrate that the primary acceptor of photosystem (PS) I is a dimer of accessory and secondary chlorophyll molecules, Chl2A and Chl3A, with an asymmetric electron charge density distribution. The incorporation of highly coupled donors and acceptors in PS I allows for extensive delocalization that prolongs the lifetime of the charge-separated state, providing for high quantum efficiency. The discovery of this motif has widespread implications ranging from the evolution of naturally occurring reaction centers to the development of a new generation of highly efficient artificial photosynthetic systems. Video abstract: [Formula presented]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102719
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 23 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this