Structure and energy transfer pathways of the Dunaliella Salina photosystem I supercomplex

Ido Caspy, Tirupathi Malavath, Daniel Klaiman, Maria Fadeeva, Yoel Shkolnisky, Nathan Nelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Oxygenic photosynthesis evolved more than 3 billion years ago in cyanobacteria. The increased complexity of photosystem I (PSI) became apparent from the high-resolution structures that were obtained for the complexes that were isolated from various organisms, ranging from cyanobacteria to plants. These complexes are all evolutionarily linked. In this paper, the researchers have uncovered the increased complexity of PSI in a single organism demonstrated by the coexistance of two distinct PSI compositions. The Large Dunaliella PSI contains eight additional subunits, six in PSI core and two light harvesting complexes. Two additional chlorophyll a molecules pertinent for efficient excitation energy transfer in state II transition were identified in PsaL and PsaO. Short distances between these newly identified chlorophylls correspond with fast excitation transfer rates previously reported during state II transition. The apparent PSI conformations could be a coping mechanism for the high salinity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148253
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of General Medical SciencesP41GM103311
European Research Council
University Grants Commission
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and DevelopmentG-1483-207
Israel Science Foundation2716/17, 569/17
Horizon 2020723991


    • Dunaliella
    • Excitation transfer
    • Light harvesting
    • Membrane complex
    • Photosystem I


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