PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CHLOROPLAST FRAGMENTS. APPLIED RESEARCH CONCERNING ARTIFICIAL PHOTOSYNTHESIS
IIT RESEARCH INST CHICAGO IL
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Chloroplasts isolated from spinach leaves were physically fragmented and then fractionated by differential centrifugation. A high-activity fraction, designated CF20-50, was obtained and retained its high activity regardless of environmental changes. It had a low protein content and a relatively high chlorophyll-to-protein ratio. Plastoquinone was present in high concentration. Extraction of plastoquinone from CF20-50 inhibited Hill activity. Unlike whole chloroplasts, readdition of plastoquinone failed to induce even partial recovery. The average particle size in CF20-50 was 1500 angstroms in diameter. The average sedimentation constant was 800 the molecular weight was about 8 x 10 to the 7th power and it showed three electrophoretic bands. CF20-50 showed maximal Hill activity, but was not the smallest photo-active unit studied. Although the nature of the smallest functional unit is uncertain, it is clear that a CF20-50 particle is composed of smaller sub- units probably oriented to impart high activity to the larger composite structure.