Photosynthetic reaction centers from the bacterium Rhodopseudomonas viridis were prepared after detergent solubilization of photosynthetic membranes. The purified reaction centers, in agreement with reports from other laboratories, contain four distinct polypeptides ranging in molecular weight from 28,000 to 41,000. When the detergent was gradually removed by dialysis under appropriate conditions, large two-dimensional sheets of reaction centers were formed, suitable for analysis by electron microscopy. The crystals were rectangular, and the dimensions of a single unit cell were 121 X 129 A. Each unit cell contained four distinct subunits, each with approximate dimensions of 45 X 60 A. The thickness of the sheet was 60 A. Preliminary studies of the sheets with negative staining indicated that the sheets show a high degree of order: as many as six orders are visible in transforms of the images. Because of the fact that in R. viridis the native membrane from which these reaction centers were purified also displays a crystal-like structure, comparative studies between a membrane and one of its components, each analyzed by Fourier techniques, are now possible.

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