[en] A photoactive substrate-enzyme complex of the NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR; EC 18.104.22.168) was purified from etiolated Triticum aestivum L. by gel chromatography after solubilization of prolamellar bodies by dodecyl-maltoside. Irradiation by a 1-ms flash induced the phototransformation of protocholorophyllide a (Pchlide) with -196 degrees C absorbance and emission maxima at 640 and 643 nm, respectively. The apparent molecular weight of this complex was 112 +/- 24 kDa, which indicates aggregation of enzyme subunits. By lowering the detergent concentration in the elution buffer, a 1080 +/- 250-kDa particle was obtained which displayed the spectral properties of the predominant form of photoactive Pchlide in vivo (-196 degrees C absorbance and fluorescence maxima at 650 and 653 nm). In this complex, FOR was the dominant polypeptide. Gel chromatography in the same conditions of an irradiated sample of solubilized prolamellar bodies indicated rapid disaggregation of the complex after Pchlide phototransformation. High performance liquid chromatographic analysis of the FOR complexes obtained using two detergent concentrations indicates a possible association of zeaxanthin and violaxanthin with the photoactive complex.