Tatas H.P. Brotosudarmo(1*), Richard J. Cogdell(2)

(1) Division of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, University of Glasgow Biomedical Research Building, 126 University Place, G12 8TA
(2) Division of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, University of Glasgow Biomedical Research Building, 126 University Place, G12 8TA
(*) Corresponding Author


Photosynthesis provides an example of a natural process that has been optimized during evolution to harness solar energy efficiently and safely, and finally to use it to produce a carbon-based fuel. Initially, solar energy is captured by the light harvesting pigment-protein complexes. In purple bacteria these antenna complexes are constructed on a rather simple modular basis. Light absorbed by these antenna complexes is funnelled downhill to reaction centres, where light drives a trans-membrane redox reaction. The light harvesting proteins not only provide the scaffolding that correctly positions the bacteriochlorophyll a and carotenoid pigments for optimal energy transfer but also creates an environment that can modulate the wavelength at which different bacteriochlorophyll molecules absorb light thereby creating the energy funnel. How these proteins can modulate the absorption spectra of the bacteriochlorophylls will be discussed in this review.


photosynthesis; peripheral light harvesting complex; H-bonding; energy transfer

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