Paramagnetic Unit in Spinach Subchloroplast Particles: Estimation of Size

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Science  29 Aug 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3896, pp. 906-907
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3896.906


A pulsed ruby laser (wavelength, 694.3 nanometers) was used to measure the dependence on light intensity of light-induced electron paramagnetic resonance (ERR) signal 1 for short flashes of uniform duration (400 microseconds). Approximately 1018 photons per square centimeter per flash from the unattenuated beam were available to the sample of subchloroplast "system 1" particles from spinach. The experimental dependence of the EPR signal height plotted as a function of the total number of incident photons per flash was exponential. From measurement of the slope at a very low relative photon flux and the saturated EPR signal amplitude, the value for the cross section or "effective size" of the light-induced paramagnetic unit, σEPR, was found to be 300 x 10-17 square centimeter. This result is compared with a measured optical absorption cross section, σ694nm, of 2.5 x 10-17 square centimeter, for the identical sample at the laser wavelength. The hundredfold difference in size supports the thesis that the paramagnetic state is a property of an aggregate of chlorophyll molecules of the same general size as the photosynthetic unit.

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