Structural elucidation of vascular plant photosystem i and its functional implications

Xiuxiu Li, Gongxian Yang, Xinyi Yuan, Fenghua Wu, Wenda Wang, Jian Ren Shen, Tingyun Kuang, Xiaochun Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In vascular plants, bryophytes and algae, the photosynthetic light reaction takes place in the thylakoid membrane where two transmembrane supercomplexes PSII and PSI work together with cytochrome b6f and ATP synthase to harvest the light energy and produce ATP and NADPH. Vascular plant PSI is a 600-kDa protein-pigment supercomplex, the core complex of which is partly surrounded by peripheral light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) that captures sunlight and transfers the excitation energy to the core to be used for charge separation. PSI is unique mainly in absorption of longer-wavelengths than PSII, fast excitation energy transfer including uphill energy transfer, and an extremely high quantum efficiency. From the early 1980s, a lot of effort has been dedicated to structural and functional studies of PSI-LHCI, leading to the current understanding of how more than 200 cofactors are kept at the correct distance and geometry to facilitate fast energy transfer in this supercomplex at an atomic level. In this review, we review the history of studies on vascular plant PSI-LHCI, summarise the present research progress on its structure, and present some new and further questions to be answered in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Lhca
  • Lhcb
  • nonphotochemical quenching
  • photosystem I
  • photosystem II
  • PSI
  • PSII
  • xanthophyll cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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