Single-particle structure analysis of light-harvesting phycobilisome complex

June 10, 2021

Structure of a solar energy-absorbing protein in algae is elucidated

A collaborative research group including RIKEN SPring-8 Center, RIKEN CSRS, Okayama University, Osaka City University and Kumamoto University revealed the whole structure of a light-harvesting complex from algae, “phycobilisome (PBS)”, that absorb solar energy with high efficiency by single-particle structure analysis via electron microscopy.

In this study, the research group isolated PBSs from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus vulcanus (T. vulcanus) collected from hot springs, and revealed the overall structure and structural type of PBS in T. vulcanus by the single-particle structural analysis using negative-staining electron microscopy.

This result clarifies how algae absorb solar energy with high efficiency, and is considered to contribute to establish a highly-efficient light-energy transmission system by incorporating this finding into studies of artificial photosynthesis.


Original article
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergetics doi:10.1016/j.bbabio.2021.148458
K. Kawakami, R. Nagao, Y. O. Tahara, T. Hamaguchi, T. Suzuki, N. Dohmae, D. Kosumi, J.-R. Shen, M. Miyata, K. Yonekura, N. Kamiya,
"Structural implications for a phycobilisome complex from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus vulcanus".

Takehiro Suzuki; Senior Technical Scientist
Naoshi Dohmae; Unit Leader
Biomolecular Characterization Unit