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Journal Article

The structure of the photoreceptor unit of Rhodopseudomonas viridis

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Stark, W., Kühlbrandt, W., Wildhaber, I., Wehrli, E., & Mühlethaler, K. (1984). The structure of the photoreceptor unit of Rhodopseudomonas viridis. EMBO Journal, 3(4), 777-783. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1984.tb01884.x.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-EB42-6
The thylakoid membrane of Rhodopseudomonas viridis contains extensive, regular arrays of photoreceptor complexes arranged on a hexagonal lattice with a repeat distance of ˜130 Å. Single membrane sheets were obtained by mild treatment of the thylakoid fraction with the detergent Triton X-100. Heavy metal shadowing and electron microscopy of isolated thylakoids indicated a strong asymmetry of the membrane, showing a smooth plasmic and a rough exoplasmic side. Fourier processing of rotary-shadowed specimens showed the different surface relief on both sides of the membrane. Structural units on both sides were roughly circular and showed 6-fold symmetry at a resolution close to 20 Å. The structural unit was characterised by a central core that seemed to extend through the membrane, protruding on the exoplasmic side. The core was surrounded by a ring showing 12 subunits on the plasmic side. Rotary-shadowed as well as negatively-stained membranes indicated a handedness of the structure. Treatment of thylakoid vesicles with higher detergent concentrations yielded a fraction of particles showing the same features as Fourier maps of the structural units. The isolated particles therefore appeared to represent structurally intact units of photosynthesis.