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      Energy transfer in LHCII monomers at 77K studied by sub-picosecond transient absorption spectroscopy.

      Chlorophyll, chemistry, Cold Temperature, Energy Transfer, Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes, Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins, Spectrum Analysis, Spinacia oleracea

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          Energy transfer from chlorophyll b (Chl b) to chlorophyll a (Chl a) in monomeric preparations of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) from spinach was studied at 77 K using pump-probe experiments. Sub-picosecond excitation pulses centered at 650 nm were used to excite preferentially Chl b and difference absorption spectra were detected from 630 to 700 nm. Two distinct Chl b to Chl a transfer times, approximately 200 fs and 3 ps, were found. A clearly distinguishable energy transfer process between Chl a molecules occurred with a time constant of 18 ps. The LHCII monomer data are compared to previously obtained LHCII trimer data, and both data sets are fitted simultaneously using a global analysis fitting routine. Both sets could be described with the following time constants: 140 fs, 600 fs, 8 ps, 20 ps, and 2.9 ns. In both monomers and trimers 50% of the Chl b to Chl a transfer is ultrafast (<200 fs). However, for monomers this transfer occurs to Chl a molecules that absorb significantly more toward shorter wavelengths than for trimers. Part of the transfer from Chl b to Chl a that occurs with a time constant of 600 fs in trimers is slowed down to several picoseconds in monomers. However, it is argued that observed differences between monomers and trimers should be ascribed to the loss of some Chl a upon monomerization or a shift of the absorption maximum of one or several Chl a molecules. It is concluded that Chl b to Chl a transfer occurs only within monomeric subunits of the trimers and not between different subunits.

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