Quantitation of the rapid electron donors to P700, the functional plastoquinone pool, and the ratio of the photosystems in spinach chloroplasts.

T. Graan, D. R. Ort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies of chloroplast architecture have emphasized the segregation of photosystem I and photosystem II in different regions of the lamellar membrane. The apparent localization of photosystem II reaction centers in regions of membrane appression and of photosystem I reaction centers in regions exposed to the chloroplast stroma has focused attention on the intervening electron carriers, carriers which must be present to catalyze electron transfer between such spatially separated reaction sites. Information regarding the stoichiometries of these intermediate carriers is essential to an understanding of the processes that work together to establish the mechanism and to determine the rate of the overall process. We have reinvestigated the numbers of photosystem I and photosystem II reaction centers, the numbers of intervening cytochrome b6/f complexes, and the numbers of molecules of the relatively mobile electron carriers plastoquinone and plastocyanin that are actively involved in electron transfer. Our investigations were based on a new experimental technique made possible by the use of a modified indophenol dye, methyl purple, the reduction of which provides a particularly sensitive and accurate measure of electron transfer. Using this dye, which accepts electrons exclusively from photosystem I, it was possible to drain electrons from each of the carriers. Thus, by manipulation of the redox condition of the various carriers and through the use of specific inhibitors we could measure the electron storage capacity of each carrier in turn. We conclude that the ratio of photosystem I reaction centers to cytochrome b6/f complexes to photosystem II reaction centers is very nearly 1:1:1. The pool of rapid donors of electrons to P700 includes not only the 2 reducing equivalents stored in the cytochrome b6/f complex but also those stored in slightly more than 2 molecules of plastocyanin per P700. More slowly available are the electrons from about 6 plastoquinol molecules per P700.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14003-14010
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 25 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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