Background: Phototrophic prokaryotes inhabit a diverse array of environments
on our planet and also contain a wide range of chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls, encompassing
both chlorin and bacteriochorin structures.
Objective: This review considers the ecological niches of the phototrophic prokaryotes,
together with the mass spectrometric study of their chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll
Methods: A thorough review of the mass spectrometry literature on chlorophylls from
phototrophic prokaryotes has been carried out.
Results: Mass spectrometry, particularly coupled with liquid chromatography and used in
conjunction with soft ionization techniques, has been pivotal in the assignment of closely related chlorophyll
and bacteriochlorophyll structures from these organisms.
Conclusion: Exploration of our natural environment continues to find previously uncharacterized photosynthetic
prokaryotes, utilizing subtle but significant modifications to the chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll
structures in our current knowledge.