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Scheer, Hugo; Porra, R. J. and Anderson, J. M. (September 1989): REACTIVITY OF CHLOROPHYLL a/b-PROTEINS AND MICELLAR TRITON X-100 COMPLEXES OF CHLOROPHYLLS a OR b WITH BOROHYDRIDE. In: Photochemistry and Photobiology, Vol. 50, No. 3: pp. 403-412 [PDF, 990kB]


The reaction of several plant chlorophyll-protein complexes with NaBH4 has been studied by absorption spectroscopy. In all the complexes studied, chlorophyll b is more reactive than Chi a, due to preferential reaction of its formyl substituent at C-7. The complexes also show large variations in reactivity towards NaBH4 and the order of reactivity is: LHCI > PSII complex > LHCII > PSI > P700 (investigated as a component of PSI). Differential pools of the same type of chlorophyll have been observed in several complexes.

Parallel work was undertaken on the reactivity of micellar complexes of chlorophyll a and of chlorophyll b with NaBH4 to study the effect of aggregation state on this reactivity. In these complexes, both chlorophyll a and b show large variations in reactivity in the order monomer > oligomer > polymer with chlorophyll b generally being more reactive than chlorophyll a. It is concluded that aggregation decreases the reactivity of chlorophylls towards NaBH4 in vitro, and may similarly decrease reactivity in naturally-occurring chlorophyll-protein complexes.

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