Orientation of chlorophyll in vivo. Studies with magnetic field oriented Chlorella

J. F. Becker, N. E. Geacintov, F. Van Nostrand, R. Van Metter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The orientation of whole cells of Chlorella pyrenoidosa in aqueous suspensions is due to the anisotropy in the diamagnetic susceptibility of oriented chlorophyll molecules. The lipid molecules tend to align with their long axes parallel to the magnetic field and the "red" Qy transition moment of chlorophyll perpendicular to the field, thus in the plane of the lamellae. The plane of the porphyrin rings tends to be parallel to the magnetic field because of the large diamagnetic susceptibility perpendicular to the ring. It is concluded that the porphyrin ring planes tilt away from the lamellar plane by an angle greater than 45°. The short wavelength spectroscopic forms of chlorophyll are unoriented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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