Spectral analysis of allophycocyanin I, II, III and B from Nostoc sp. phycobilisomes

Barbara A. Zilinskas, Linda S. Greenwald, Cindy L. Bailey, Peter C. Kahn

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16 Scopus citations


Low temperature (−196°C) and room temperature (25°C) absorption spectra of a family of allophycocyanin spectral forms isolated from Nostoc sp. phycobilisomes as well as of the phycobilisomes themselves have been analyzed by Gaussian curve-fitting. Allophycocyanin I and B share long wavelength components at 668 and 679 nm, bands that are absent from allophycocyanin II and III. These long wavelength absorption components are apparently responsible for the 20 nm difference between the 680 nm fluorescence emission maximum of allophycocyanin I and B and the 660 nm maximum of II and III. This indicates that allophycocyanin I and B are the final acceptors of excitation energy in the phycobilisome and the excitation energy transfer bridge linking the phycobilisome with the chlorophyll-containing thylakoid membranes. These Gaussian components are also found in resolved spectra of phycobilisomes, arguing against this family of allophycocyanin molecules being artifactual products of protein purification procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


  • Absorption spectroscopy
  • Allophycocyanin
  • Gaussian curve resolution
  • Nostoc sp.
  • Photosynthetic pigment
  • Phycobiliprotein
  • Phycobilisome

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