Seemingly redundant parallel pathways for electron transfer (ET), composed of identical sets of cofactors, are a cornerstone feature of photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs) involved in light-energy conversion. In native bacterial RCs, both A and B branches house one bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) and one bacteriopheophytin (BPh), but the A branch is used exclusively. Described herein are the results-obtained for two Rhodobacter capsulatus RCs with an unnaturally high degree of cofactor asymmetry, two BPh on the RC's B side and two BChl on the A side. These pigment changes derive, respectively, from the His(M180)Leu mutation [a BPh ((Phi(B)) replaces the B-side BChl (BB)], and the Leu(M212)His mutation [a BChl (beta(A))) replaces the A-side BPh (H-A)]. Additionally, Tyr(M208)Phe was employed to disfavor ET to the A branch; in one mutant, Val(M131)Glu creates a hydrogen bond to H-B to enhance ET to H-B. In both Phi(B) mutants, the decay kinetics of the excited primary ET donor (P*) resolve three populations with lifetimes of similar to 9 ps (50-60%), similar to 40 ps (10-20%), and similar to 200 ps (20-30%), with P+Phi(-)(B) formed predominantly from the 9 ps fraction. The 50-60% yield of P+Phi(B)- is the highest yet observed for a Phi(B)-containing RC. The results provide insight into factors needed for efficient multistep ET.