Polarized steady-state fluorescence and fluorescence excitation spectra as well as time-resolved fluorescence for B-phycoerythrin (B-PE) from red algae, Porphyridium cruentum, embedded in polyvinyl stretched films were measured. The lifetimes of polarized fluorescence were analyzed using exponential components and fractal models. The interactions between various chromophores of the pigment–protein complexes investigated were discussed. The anisotropy of fluorescence excitation spectra differs from the anisotropy of absorption spectra and depends on the wavelength of observation. This shows that differently oriented chromophores take part in various paths of excitation energy transfer (ET) or change their excitation into heat with various efficiencies (or both). Also, analysis of time-resolved fluorescence measured in various spectral regions gives different polarized components of emission. Fractal analysis of lifetimes, done under supposition of the Foerster resonance ET mechanism, suggests different arrangements of energy donors and acceptors for molecules absorbing in different spectral regions. It shows that several fractions of differently oriented “forms” of chromophores exhibiting different spectral properties occur in B-PE complexes. Small changes in the orientation of the chromophores can be followed by modification of the path of excitation energy migration. Based on the results obtained a new reorientational mechanism of the State 1 → State 2 transition was proposed: Even small conformational modifications of biliproteins, which could be caused in vivo by the change in the conditions of preillumination of bacteria, are able to modify the path of excitation ET. Such a reorientation may be responsible for the change in the partition of biliprotein excitation energy between photosystem II (PSII) and PSI (State 1 → State 2 transition). The proposed mechanism needs further verification by the investigation of whole bacteria cells.
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Vol. 79 • No. 1