By H. W. Woolhouse
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Kirk (1975a,b, 1976a, 1977a) made a theoretical treatment of the effect of size and shape of unicellular algae on their light harvesting properties. His conclusions may be summarized broadly as follows. In terms of populations of cells, small non-spherical cells are more efficient than spherical cells (see Fig. 11). However due to the package effect (Subsection G) populations of even the smallest cells can never harvest light as efficiently as a homogeneous dispersion of an equivalent amount of pigment.
The simplest hypothesis to account for these various processes is an interconnected linear sequence of PSII, PSI and electron transport components operating as a structural entity in the thylakoid membrane (Fig. 14). Such an hypothesis fits well with the widely-held view that PSI and PSII units have approximately LIGHT HARVESTING PROCESSES IN ALGAE hVTl qhV' -I H,O Q 39 - -,- I -0 - -r +Q - I 0 2ms -1- +PQ - -1- I I <20ns 06ms 1- I CY'f I -+Pc - -1- +I - - I I I 20ms O2ms < Ims +Fd +NADP+ <20n5 Ims Fig.
D). LIGHT HARVESTING PROCESSES IN ALGAE 23 C. TAXONOMIC ASPECTS The traditional separation of algae into two major functional groups-the benthic algae and the planktonic microalgae-has focused attention in terms of light-harvesting on the benthic macroalgae. Since the latter are for the most part marine, attention has been directed specifically to zonation on rocky coastlines. The phytoplankton, subject as they are to passive movement in currents, which may drastically affect their vertical distribution, are less easy to study, although modern culture techniques have enabled simulation of some of these conditions in the laboratory.
Advances in Botanical Research, Vol. 10 by H. W. Woolhouse