Architecture and mechanism of the light-harvesting apparatus of purple bacteria

Xiche Hu, Ana Damjanović, Thorsten Ritz, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photosynthetic organisms fuel their metabolism with light energy and have developed for this purpose an efficient apparatus for harvesting sunlight. The atomic structure of the apparatus, as it evolved in purple bacteria, has been constructed through a combination of x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and modeling. The detailed structure and overall architecture reveals a hierarchical aggregate of pigments that utilizes, as shown through femtosecond spectroscopy and quantum physics, elegant and efficient mechanisms for primary light absorption and transfer of electronic excitation toward the photosynthetic reaction center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5935-5941
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 26 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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