Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2015

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The reaction center (RC) complex of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum tepidum is composed of the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) antenna protein and the reaction center core (RCC) complex. The RCC complex has four subunits: PscA, PscB, PscC, and PscD. The structure of the intact and functional FMO-RCC complex was studied by chemically cross-linking the purified sample followed by biochemical and spectroscopic analysis. The interaction sites of the cross-linked complex were also studied using LC-MS/MS. A structural model is proposed based on those results. In addition, the RCC complexes were purified, both the PscA-PscC complex from the Chlorobaculum tepidum and the PscA-PscB complex from Prosthecochloris aestuarii. The intact FMO-RCC complex and the RCC complexes were further studied comparatively by steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence and femtosecond time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopies to elucidate the pathway of FMO-to-RCC inter-protein energy transfer as well as RCC intra-protein energy and electron transfer.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Robert E Blankenship

Committee Members

Dewey Holten, Michael L Gross, Timothy Wencewicz, Liviu Mirica, Joseph Jez,


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