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Free Content Spectroanalysis in native gels (SING): rapid spectral analysis of pigmented thylakoid membrane complexes separated by CN–PAGE

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Photosynthetic organisms rapidly adjust the capture, transfer and utilization of light energy to optimize the efficiency of photosynthesis and avoid photodamage. These adjustments involve fine‐tuning of expression levels and mutual interactions among electron/proton transfer components and their associated light‐harvesting antenna. Detailed studies of these interactions and their dynamics have been hindered by the low throughput and resolution of currently available research tools, which involve laborious isolation, separation and characterization steps. To address these issues, we developed an approach that measured multiple spectroscopic properties of thylakoid preparations directly in native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gels, enabling unprecedented resolution of photosynthetic complexes, both in terms of the spectroscopic and functional details, as well as the ability to distinguish separate complexes and thus test their functional connections. As a demonstration, we explore the thylakoid membrane components of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii acclimated to high and low light, using a combination of room temperature absorption and 77K fluorescence emission to generate a multi‐dimensional molecular and spectroscopic map of the photosynthetic apparatus. We show that low‐light‐acclimated cells accumulate a photosystem I‐containing megacomplex that is absent in high‐light‐acclimated cells and contains distinct LhcII proteins that can be distinguished based on their spectral signatures.
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Keywords: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; antennae; chlorophyll fluorescence; native PAGE; photoacclimation; photosynthesis; photosystems; technical advance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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