Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 117, Issue 6, pp 495–505

Roles of the acidic lipids sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol in photosynthesis: their specificity and evolution

Invited Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10265-004-0183-1

Cite this article as:
Sato, N. J Plant Res (2004) 117: 495. doi:10.1007/s10265-004-0183-1


Sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) are lipids with negative charges, distributed among membranes of chloroplasts of plants and their postulated progenitors, cyanobacteria, and also widely among membranes of anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. Thus, these acidic lipids are of great interest in terms of their roles in the function and evolution of the photosynthetic membranes. The physiological significance of these lipids in photosynthesis has been examined through characterization of mutants defective in their abilities to synthesize SQDG or PG, and through characterization of isolated thylakoid membranes or photosynthetic particles, the acidic lipid contents of which were manipulated in vitro, for example, on treatment with phospholipase to degrade PG. Responsibility of SQDG or PG has been clarified so far in terms of the structural and/or functional integrity of photosystems I and/or II in cyanobacterial, green algal, and higher plant species. Also implied were distinct levels of the responsibility in the different photosynthetic organisms. Extreme cases involved the indispensability of SQDG for photosynthesis and growth in two prokaryotic, photosynthetic organisms and the contribution of PG to construction of the photosystem-I trimer exclusively in cyanobacteria. Here, roles of these acidic lipids are discussed with a focus on their specificity and the evolution of photosynthetic membranes.


Light-harvesting complex of photosystem IIPhosphatidylglycerolPhotosystem IPhotosystem IISulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerolThylakoid membranes

Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer-Verlag  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life ScienceTokyo University of Pharmacy and Life ScienceTokyo 192-0392Japan