Difference Between Chlorophyll A and B2

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Chlorophyll A and B2

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Life-sustaining oxygen is taken up by plants, who then excrete it as a waste. It is a byproduct of photosynthesis, the process by which plants use water and carbon dioxide to turn light energy into food. A unique green coloured material known as chlorophyll now makes it feasible for plants to absorb light and utilise it for photosynthesis. We'll also examine how chlorophyll A and B2 differ from one another.

Chlorophyll A and B2 vary most from one another in that the former contributes more to photosynthesis while the latter helps the former. More than that, there are a few others. differences that make it simple to tell the difference between the two pigment components.

Both contribute to the green hue of the plant, although in spinach, chlorophyll-a predominates over chlorophyll-b2.

Chlorophyll A vs Chlorophyll B2

The natural pigment chlorophyll a provides plants their green hue. To be more specific, it's a photoreceptor. The chemistry indicates that it is a porphyrin ring with a methyl group or CH3 on its side chain. As a result, in the visible spectrum of sunlight, chlorophyll an absorbs light at a different wavelength than chlorophyll b2.

Chlorophyll b2 has a porphyrin ring, but the side chain also has an aldehyde group, or CHO. It serves as a photoreceptor as well, aiding chlorophyll an in absorbing sunlight. Chlorophyll b2 complements chlorophyll a well since it absorbs light at a longer wavelength than chlorophyll a does.

Difference Between Chlorophyll A and B2 in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparison Chlorophyll A Chlorophyll B2
Sidechain The methyl group (-CH3) Aldehyde (-CHO)
What wavelengths of light does it absorb? 430 nm to 660 nm 450 nm to 660 nm
What colours does it absorb? Violet- blue, orange-red Orange-red only
Molecular weight 839.51 g/mo 907.49 g/mol
Solubility in polar solvents Less soluble More soluble

What is Chlorophyll?

A pigment or chemical substance called chlorophyll absorbs and reflects particular light wavelengths. The thylakoid membrane of an organelle termed the chloroplast, which is located inside cells, contains chlorophyll.

For plants and other autotrophs, which are creatures that obtain their energy by converting light energy from the sun into chemical energy, pigments like chlorophyll are helpful. Chlorophyll's main function is to absorb light energy for use in the process of photosynthesis, which is how plants, algae, and certain microorganisms turn solar light energy into chemical energy.

Photons are units of energy that make up light. Chlorophyll and other pigments transport photons from pigment to pigment through a complicated mechanism until they reach the reaction centre. When photons enter the reaction centre, they are transformed into chemical energy that the cell may employ.

Chlorophyll is the primary pigment utilised by organisms during photosynthesis.

Determination of the amount of chlorophyll

Chlorophylls may be separated from the protein and dissolved in organic solvents. Using this technique, it is possible to predict how much chlorophyll is in a leaf. Chlorophyll a and b can be distinguished in a number of ways.

In diethyl ether, chlorophyll b has approximate maxima at 453 nm and 642 nm, whereas chlorophyll a has maxima at 430 nm and 662 nm.

The absorption peaks of chlorophyll are at 465 nm and 665 nm. Chlorophyll a's maximum fluorescence wavelengths are 673 nm and 726 nm.

Chlorophyll a has one of the greatest peak molar absorption coefficients of any small-molecule organic substances, exceeding 105 M1 cm1. Chlorophyll a's peak absorption wavelengths in 90 percent acetone-water are 430 nm and 664 nm; Chlorophyll b's peak is 460 nm and 647 nm; Chlorophyll c1's peak is 442 nm and 630 nm; Chlorophyll c2's peak is 444 nm and 630 nm; and Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll concentration may be determined using ratio fluorescence emission. When compared to chemical testing, the ratio of chlorophyll fluorescence emission at 705 nm and 735 nm can offer a linear connection of chlorophyll concentration by stimulating chlorophyll fluorescence at a lower wavelength.

Comparing the ratio F735/F700 to chemical tests in the range of 41 mg m2 to 675 mg m2, a r2 value of 0.96 was obtained. Gitelson also created a method to directly read out the amount of chlorophyll in mg/m2. With a r2 value of 0.95, the formula offered a trustworthy way to measure chlorophyll concentration in ranges of 41 mg m2 to 675 mg m2.

What is Photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis, which enables plants to absorb energy from light, depends on chlorophyll. The thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts contain photosystems that are surrounded by chlorophyll molecules.

Chlorophyll performs three purposes in these complexes. The bulk of chlorophyll, which can number up to several hundred molecules per photosystem, serves as an absorber of light. After doing this, these identical centres carry out their secondary role, which is the resonance energy transmission of that light energy to a particular chlorophyll pair in the reaction centre of the photosystems.

This pair has an impact on how chlorophylls separate charges, which results in biosynthesis. The two recognised photosystem units at this time are photosystem II and photosystem I, each of which has a unique reaction centre with the names P680 and P700. These centres are given their names based on the red-peak absorption maximum wavelength (in nanometers). Each photosystem's several forms of chlorophyll have unique identities, functions, and spectral characteristics that are influenced by both one another and the protein structure that surrounds them.                                

What is Chlorophyll A?

The pigment chlorophyll has two varieties, of which chlorophyll an is the one we'll be talking about right now. A methyl group is present on the side chain of a chlorophyll molecule in addition to the porphyrin ring. The fundamental distinction between chlorophyll a and b2 is this. The natural pigment aids in photosynthesis by serving as a photoreceptor. It takes in sunlight and uses water and carbon dioxide to help plants produce carbohydrates. The molecular weight of chlorophyll is 839.51 grams per mole.

If we compare the solubility of the chlorophyll a molecule to that of the b2 molecule, the chlorophyll a molecule is less soluble in a polar media. Additionally, it filters out light with wavelengths between 430 and 660 nanometers. The hues that vary between the two areas are orange-red and violet-blue. Because of how chlorophyll-a and b2 function, they complement one another. As a result, the b2 molecule helps chlorophyll-a absorb wavelengths of light that it cannot, and they both play a crucial part in absorbing solar energy. Additionally, there are occasions when a plant's concentration of chlorophylls a and b2 is not equal; for instance, spinach gets most of its green hue from chlorophyll b2.

Chlorophyll A Distribution

Although not the sole pigment that may be employed for photosynthesis, chlorophyll an is necessary for the majority of photosynthetic organisms to release chemical energy. Chlorophyll an is used by all oxygenic photosynthetic organisms, however they differ in the accessory pigments they have, such chlorophyll b. The anaerobic photoautotrophic green sulphur bacterium also contains extremely minute amounts of chlorophyll a.  Despite using some chlorophyll a and bacteriochlorophyll, these organisms don't make oxygen. In contrast to oxygenic photosynthesis, which produces oxygen during the light reactions of photosynthesis, this technique is known as anoxygenic photosynthesis.

Molecular Composition

The chlorin ring, which has four nitrogen atoms surrounding a core magnesium atom and has numerous additional connected side chains as well as a hydrocarbon tail created by a phytol ester, makes up the molecular structure of chlorophyll a.

Magnesium ions are enclosed in a sizable ring structure called a chlorine in chlorophyll a. A heterocyclic substance produced from pyrrole, the chlorin ring. The magnesium atom is encircled and bound by four chlorine nitrogen atoms. The structure is specifically identified as a chlorophyll molecule by the magnesium core. [8] Bacteriochlorophyll has a saturated porphyrin ring that lacks the alternation of double and single bonds that would otherwise cause variations in light absorption.

Side Chain

Side chains are affixed to the different chlorophyll molecules' chlorine rings. Each form of chlorophyll molecule has a distinctive side chain that modifies the light's absorption spectrum.  For instance, the main distinction between chlorophylls a and b is that the C-7 location of chlorophyll b has an aldehyde rather than a methyl group.

Petroleum Tail

Chlorophyll a's phytol ester (R in the figure) has a protracted hydrophobic tail that serves as an anchor for the molecule to other hydrophobic proteins in the chloroplast's thylakoid membrane. Phytol is the precursor of the biomarkers pristane and phytane, which are crucial for the study of geochemistry and the identification of petroleum sources after it has been freed from the porphyrin ring.


Several enzymes are used in the biosynthesis process for chlorophyll a. The majority of plants synthesise chlorophyll in a branched route that also produces heme and siroheme, which is produced from glutamate. The first stage is the incorporation of glutamic acid into 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA); the next two processes are the reduction of ALA to porphobilinogen (PBG) and the coupling of four PBG molecules to produce protoporphyrin IX.

By catalysing the process, the enzyme chlorophyll synthase completes the production of chlorophyll a. EC

displaystyle 'rightleftharpoons' 'rightleftharpoons' 'chlorophyllide a + phytyl diphosphate ' Diaphosphate and chlorophyll a

The 20-carbon diterpene alcohol phytol and the carboxylic acid group in chlorophyllide combine to produce an ester.

What is Chlorophyll B2?

B2 is for the second kind of chlorophyll, a naturally occurring pigment that gives microorganisms and plants their green colour. This article discusses the distinction between chlorophyll a and b2. Chlorophyll B2 is an aldehyde group or CHO-containing side chained porphyrin ring. It did so because light with wavelengths between 450 and 660 nanometers was absorbed by it. The predominant hue in the area is orange-red. As they absorb this colour, the corresponding colour is reflected out, giving the plants their green hue.

Chlorophyll b2 is a polar medium-soluble pigment with a molecular weight of 907.49 grams per mole. They account for around 25% of all the chlorophyll in plants. All types of green plants and green algae contain them. They are supposed to regulate how big the antenna is. It reflects an orange-red colour in contrast to a yellow-green hue. The alternating distribution of the single and double bonds in the molecule enables b2 to absorb light by stabilising their electrons through delocalization. These delocalized polyenes may absorb a lot of energy. Therefore, it performs well as a photoreceptor. The various varieties work well together.

Main Differences Between Chlorophyll A and B2 in Points

  • While the side chain of chlorophyll-b2 has an aldehyde, the side chain of chlorophyll-a contains a methyl group.
  • Chlorophyll a absorbs light between the wavelengths of 430 and 660 nm, whereas chlorophyll b2 absorbs light between the wavelengths of 450 and 660 nm.
  • Chlorophyll b2 exclusively absorbs orange-red, while chlorophyll a absorbs violet-blue and orange-red hues.
  • Chlorophyll emits a yellow-green hue, whereas chlorophyll emits a blue-green hue.
  • Chlorophyll A is less soluble in polar media, but Chlorophyll B2 is quite soluble.


In addition to the porphyrin ring, the side chain of a chlorophyll molecule also has a methyl group. In order to assist plants in producing carbohydrates, it receives sunlight and consumes carbon dioxide and water. Additionally, it is capable of absorbing light with a wavelength of 430 to 660 nanometers. Chlorophyll-a and b2 function in a complementary manner.

The term "B2" refers to the second form of chlorophyll, which is a natural pigment that gives green to both bacteria and plants and has an aldehyde in its side chain. Orange-red is a prevalent hue in this region. The complimentary colour is reflected out as they absorb this pigment, giving the plants their green hue.

They make up around a quarter of all the chlorophyll in plants. Contrasting with the orange-red hue, it has a yellow-green tinge.

Chlorophyll A and B2 differ significantly in that the former contributes mainly to photosynthesis while the latter supports the former. The two pigment components can also be distinguished from one another by a few additional features. Both chlorophylls contribute to the green colour of the plant, however chlorophyll a has a methyl group on its side chain whereas chlorophyll b2 has an aldehyde group.



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"Difference Between Chlorophyll A and B2." Diffzy.com, 2023. Tue. 30 May. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-chlorophyll-a-and-b2-676>.

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