Irreversible disassembly of chiral macrodomains in thylakoids due to photoinhibition

Eugene E. Gussakovsky, Virginijus Barzda, Yosepha Shahak, Gyözö Garab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effect of photoinhibitory illumination on the chiral macroorganization of the chromophores in spinach thylakoid membranes. By measuring circular dichroism (CD), we found that prolonged (15 min) illumination of membranes with intense white light led to irreversible diminishment of the main CD bands originating from the chiral macroorganization of the chromophores. The irreversible decrease of the main CD bands showed a nearly linear correlation with the extent of photoinhibition which was determined by chlorophyll fluorescence induction. CD measurements also revealed that the excitonic CD bands, which are given rise by short-range interactions between the chromophores inside the complexes or particles, were largely insensitive to the photoinhibitory illumination of the membranes. These data show that, whereas photoinhibitory treatment has no perceptible effect on the molecular architecture of the bulk of the pigment-protein complexes, it leads to a disorganization of their macroarray, and an irreversible disassembly of the chirally organized macrodomains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Chiral macroorganization of chromophores
  • Chlorophyll fluorescence induction
  • Circular dichroism
  • Photoinhibition of photosynthesis
  • Spinach thylakoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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