An international team led by the researchers in Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) in Germany provided new insights in the transport of light-energy of Photosystem I (PSI), a complex, giant photosynthetic protein.

The researchers isolated the protein complex using mass-spectrometry, spectroscopy, and biochemical methods to characterize it in detail. They used the atomic structure of PSI to study the energy transfer inside the protein complex and the localization of the red chlorophylls. They found that these red chlorophylls are closely interacting with each other to enable the absorption of low-energy far red light. The researchers observed the red chlorophylls seem to interact with lipids on the surrounding membrane to make far red light accessible for photosynthesis.