Architecture of the photosynthetic complex from a green sulfur bacterium

Jing Hua Chen, Hangjun Wu, Caihuang Xu, Xiao Chi Liu, Zihui Huang, Shenghai Chang, Wenda Wang, Guangye Han, Tingyun Kuang, Jian Ren Shen, Xing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The photosynthetic apparatus of green sulfur bacteria (GSB) contains a peripheral antenna chlorosome, light-harvesting Fenna-Matthews-Olson proteins (FMO), and a reaction center (GsbRC). We used cryo-electron microscopy to determine a 2.7-angstrom structure of the FMO-GsbRC supercomplex from Chlorobaculum tepidum. The GsbRC binds considerably fewer (bacterio) chlorophylls [(B)Chls] than other known type I RCs do, and the organization of (B)Chls is similar to that in photosystem II. Two BChl layers in GsbRC are not connected by Chls, as seen in other RCs, but associate with two carotenoid derivatives. Relatively long distances of 22 to 33 angstroms were observed between BChls of FMO and GsbRC, consistent with the inefficient energy transfer between these entities. The structure contains common features of both type I and type II RCs and provides insight into the evolution of photosynthetic RCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabb6350
Issue number6519
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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