In this work, absorption and fluorescence spectra of protochlorophyllide (Pchlide), as well as its fluorescence lifetime, were investigated in organic solvents having different physical properties. The obtained Pchlide spectral features are discussed in relation to the parameters describing solvent properties (refractive index and dielectric constant) and taking into account the specific solvent-Pchlide interaction. The correlation of Pchlide Qy and Soret absorption bands with solvent polarizability function ((n2 - 1)/(n2 + 2)) has been found; however, the dispersion of the observed points was rather high. A small Stokes shift of a magnitude between 50 and 300 cm(-1) was found, which indicates low sensitivity of Pchlide to nonspecific solvation. The fluorescence decay of Pchlide was single exponential in all the investigated solvents, with the lifetime value ranging from 5.2 ns for dioxane to 3.5 ns for methanol. Dependence of the obtained fluorescence lifetimes on the solvent orientation polarizability, a parameter being the function of both refractive index and dielectric constant, was discussed. In water-methanol mixtures, a further decrease of the fluorescence lifetime was observed, giving values of 2.9 ns for 25% methanol. Double-exponential decay of Pchlide fluorescence was found for Pchlide in a solution of 15% methanol with the lifetimes of 4.5 +/- 0.5 ns and 1.2 +/- 0.3 ns and in pure water with the lifetimes of 2.5 +/- 0.5 ns and 0.4 +/- 0.1 ns. The obtained results are discussed in relation to spectroscopic properties of Pchlide in vivo.