2Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, Russia; fax: +7 (495) 952-5308
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received November 24, 2013
The mechanisms of the ultrafast charge separation in reaction centers of photosystem I (PS I) complexes are discussed. A kinetic model of the primary reactions in PS I complexes is presented. The model takes into account previously calculated values of redox potentials of cofactors, reorganization energies of the primary P700+A0- and secondary P700+A1- ion-radical pairs formation, and the possibility of electron transfer via both symmetric branches A and B of redox-cofactors. The model assumes that the primary electron acceptor A0 in PS I is represented by a dimer of chlorophyll molecules Chl2A/Chl3A and Chl2B/Chl3B in branches A and B of the cofactors. The characteristic times of formation of P700+A0- and P700+A1- calculated on the basis of the model are close to the experimental values obtained by pump–probe femtosecond absorption spectroscopy. It is demonstrated that a small difference in the values of redox potentials between the primary electron acceptors A0A and A0B in branches A and B leads to asymmetry of the electron transfer in a ratio of 70 : 30 in favor of branch A. The secondary charge separation is thermodynamically irreversible in the submicrosecond range and is accompanied by additional increase in asymmetry between the branches of cofactors of PS I.
KEY WORDS: photosystem I, reaction center, electron transfer, primary reactions, kinetic modeling