National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11(95), p. 6128-6133, 1998
We studied the electronically excited state of the isolated reaction center of photosystem II with high-resolution fluorescence spectroscopy at 5 K and compared the obtained spectral features with those obtained earlier for the primary electron donor. The results show that there is a striking resemblance between the emitting and charge-separating states in the photosystem II reaction center, such as a very similar shape of the phonon wing with characteristic features at 19 and 80 cm −1 , almost identical frequencies of a number of vibrational modes, a very similar double-Gaussian shape of the inhomogeneous distribution function, and relatively strong electron-phonon coupling for both states. We suggest that the emission at 5 K originates either from an exciton state delocalized over the inactive branch of the photosystem or from a fraction of the primary electron donor that is long-lived at 5 K. The latter possibility can be explained by a distribution of the free energy difference of the primary charge separation reaction around zero. Both possibilities are in line with the idea that the state that drives primary charge separation in the reaction center of photosystem II is a collective state, with contributions from all chlorophyll molecules in the central part of the complex.