Photosystem I complexes associated with fucoxanthin-chlorophyll-binding proteins from a marine centric diatom, Chaetoceros gracilis


Diatoms occupy a key position as a primary producer in the global aquatic ecosystem. We developed methods to isolate highly intact thylakoid membranes and the photosystem I (PS I) complex from a marine centric diatom, Chaetoceros gracilis. The PS I reaction center (RC) was purified as a super complex with light-harvesting fucoxanthin-chlorophyll (Chl)-binding proteins (FCP). The super complex contained 224 Chl a, 22 Chl c, and 55 fucoxanthin molecules per RC. The apparent molecular mass of the purified FCP–PS I super complex (∼ 1000 kDa) indicated that the super complex was composed of a monomer of the PS I RC complex and about 25 copies of FCP. The complex contained menaquinone-4 as the secondary electron acceptor A1 instead of phylloquinone. Time-resolved fluorescence emission spectra at 77 K indicated that fast (16 ps) energy transfer from a Chl a band at 685 nm on FCP to Chls on the PS I RC complex occurs. The ratio of fucoxanthin to Chl a on the PS I-bound FCP was lower than that of weakly bound FCP, suggesting that PS I-bound FCP specifically functions as the mediator of energy transfer between weakly bound FCPs and the PS I RC.

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Bioenergetics