Nature Plants, 08 March, 2019
Antenna arrangement and energy transfer pathways of a green algal photosystem-I–LHCI supercomplex
Xiaodong Su, Jun Ma, Xiaowei Pan, Xuelin Zhao, Wenrui Chang, Zhenfeng Liu, Xinzheng Zhang & Mei Li
During oxygenic photosynthesis, photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII) are essential for light-driven electron transport. Excitation energy transfer in PSI occurs extremely quickly, making it an efficient energy converter. In the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Cr), multiple units of light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) bind to the PSI core and function as peripheral antennae, forming a PSI–LHCI supercomplex. CrPSI–LHCI shows significantly larger antennae compared with plant PSI–LHCI while maintaining highly efficient energy transfer from LHCI to PSI. Here, we report structures of CrPSI–LHCI, solved by cryo-electron microscopy, revealing that up to ten LHCIs are associated with the PSI core. The structures provide detailed information about antenna organization and pigment arrangement within the supercomplexes. Highly populated and closely associated chlorophylls in the antennae explain the high efficiency of light harvesting and excitation energy transfer in CrPSI–LHCI.