Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hayhome


Introduction: Chlorophyll a is the prevalent light-collecting pigment in eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms. Several different chlorophylls exist in nature, but all autotrophic plants contain chlorophyll a (Bogorad, 1976). The majority of these chlorophyll a molecules function to absorb light and channel the excitation energy to photochemical sites in reaction centers. Chlorophylls b, c, d, and e, carotenoid pigments and phycobiliproteins are organized into antenna systems which absorb light maximally at different wavelengths. This design permits the visible light spectrum to be exploited (Foyer, 1984) for energy by different photosynthetic organisms. Chlorophyll b is present in higher plants, Chlorophyta, Prasinophyceae, and Euglenophyta; chlorophyll c is found in some members of Cryptophyceae, Dinophyceae, Rhaphidophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Haptophyceae, Bacillariophyceae, Xanthophyceae, and Phaeophyceae; chlorophyll d is found in some Florideophyceae in the Rhodophyta; and chlorophyll e has been found in feral populations of two members of Xanthophyceae. Chlorophyll e is believed to be a breakdown product of chlorophyll c (Meeks, 1974). Additional forms of chlorophyll, the bacteriochlorophylls, are found in bacteria other than the cyanobacteria (Holt, 1965)


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Biology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1986 Leslie Karlat Kwasnieski.