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22 July 2008 Chloroplast Biogenesis: Control of Plastid Development, Protein Import, Division and Inheritance
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The chloroplast is a multi-copy cellular organelle that not only performs photosynthesis but also synthesizes amino acids, lipids and phytohormones. The plastid also responds to environmental stimuli such as gravitropism. Biogenesis of chloroplasts is initiated from proplastids in shoot meristems, and involves a series of important events. In the last decade, considerable progress has been made towards understanding various aspects of chloroplast biogenesis at the molecular level, via studies in model systems such as Arabidopsis. This review focuses on two important aspects of chloroplast biogenesis, synthesis/assembly and division/transmission. Chloroplasts originated through endosymbiosis from an ancestor of extant cyanobacteria, and thus contain their own genomes. DNA in chloroplasts is organized into complexes with proteins, and these are called nucleoids. The synthesis of chloroplast proteins is regulated at various steps. However, a majority of proteins are synthesized in the cytosol, and their proper import into chloroplast compartments is a prerequisite for chloroplast development. Fundamental aspects of plastid gene expression/regulation and chloroplast protein transport are described, together with recent proteome analyses of the organelle. Chloroplasts are not de novo synthesized, but instead are propagated from pre-existing plastids. In addition, plastids are transmitted from generation to generation with a unique mode of inheritance. Our current knowledge on the division machinery and the inheritance of plastids is described.

© 2008 American Society of Plant Biologists
Wataru Sakamoto, Shin-ya Miyagishima, and Paul Jarvis "Chloroplast Biogenesis: Control of Plastid Development, Protein Import, Division and Inheritance," The Arabidopsis Book 2008(6), (22 July 2008).
Published: 22 July 2008

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