Photosynthesis Essay

533 words - 3 pages

Light Harvesting Complexes and their effects on photosynthesis

Michael Davis

Excelsior College


This paper explores the results from research conducted on wild bacteria and the effects between the presence and absence of light harvesting complexes (LHC’s I, II) and the reaction center (RC). During these experiments a mutant gene would affect one of the three genes required for photosynthesis. Each one of the genes LCH-I, LHC-II and RC had a different outcome when their particular gene was mutated.

Typically, ‘light is absorbed by the light harvesting complex II (LHC-II) antenna. LH-II then transfers its energy to the nearby protein Light Harvesting Complex I (LH-I), which also absorbs light itself. LH-I then passes on the energy to a protein called the ...view middle of the document...

However, in the mutant where the RC was not working right, we see almost no color growth in the light.

The difference between LHC-I and LHC-II is that “LH1 is a constant feature, being directly associated with the reaction centre, whereas the amount of LH2, and indeed its spectral properties, vary according to growth conditions and light intensity. LH1 is therefore frequently referred to as the core or inner antenna, whereas LH2 is known as the peripheral or variable antenna” (Structure and function of bacterial light-harvesting complexes,2013). It was observed during the experiments that when LHC-I was the mutant gene, the growth was not as prominent. Whereas, when the mutant gene was LHC-II, there was still a fair amount of growth.

An important conclusion is that only one of the three genes mutated is required for the bacteria to grow using photosynthesis. When the mutant gene was associated with either the LHC-I or LCH-II the bacteria still showed signs of photosynthesis. However, when the mutated gene was the RC, no photosynthesis took place. The RC gene seems to hold an important function in photosynthesis.

Work cited

Case Study: Light Harvesting Complex II. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2013, from Case Study: Light Harvesting Complex II Danielle Chandler, Jen Hsin and James C. Gumbart

Structure and function of bacterial light-harvesting complexes . (n.d.) | Search through over 11 million science, health, medical journal full text articles and books.. Retrieved October 8, 2013, from

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