Abstract For the first time, linear-dichroic triplet-minus-singlet (LD-(T - S)) spectra of reaction centers of the photosynthetic bacteria Chromatium vinosum, Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides R-26 and Rhodospirillum rubrum S1 have been measured using an extension of the technique of absorbance-detected magnetic resonance (ADMR) of the triplet state. For all bacteria studied the LD-(T - S) spectra exhibit a bleaching of the long-wavelength absorbance band that is either split or has a clear shoulder to longer wavelengths. The components are approximately parallel-polarized, indicating that they do not form an exciton pair. Around 800 nm a band appears with a width of about 7 nm, which does not form part of a band shift and that may be attributed to an appearing monomer band. Small features in the LD-(T - S) spectra at both sides of this band are well explained by band shifts of the two components of the 800 nm reaction center absorption band. The transition moment of the component at about 818 nm in reaction centers of Rps. sphaeroides R-26 is at an angle larger than 55° with both the x and the y triplet spin axes. In none of the bacteria do we find evidence for the bleaching of an exciton component of P-860 near 810 nm.