Frontiers in Biology

, 6:398

Evolution of the chloroplast division machinery


    • College of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyBeijing Forestry University
    • National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding
    • Key Laboratory of Genetics and Breeding in Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants of Ministry of Education
  • Fuli Gao
    • College of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyBeijing Forestry University

DOI: 10.1007/s11515-011-1139-1

Cite this article as:
Gao, H. & Gao, F. Front. Biol. (2011) 6: 398. doi:10.1007/s11515-011-1139-1


Chloroplasts are photosynthetic organelles derived from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria during evolution. Dramatic changes occurred during the process of the formation and evolution of chloroplasts, including the large-scale gene transfer from chloroplast to nucleus. However, there are still many essential characters remaining. For the chloroplast division machinery, FtsZ proteins, Ftn2, SulA and part of the division site positioning system—MinD and MinE are still conserved. New or at least partially new proteins, such as FtsZ family proteins FtsZ1 and ARC3, ARC6H, ARC5, PDV1, PDV2 and MCD1, were introduced for the division of chloroplasts during evolution. Some bacterial cell division proteins, such as FtsA, MreB, Ftn6, FtsW and FtsI, probably lost their function or were gradually lost. Thus, the chloroplast division machinery is a dynamically evolving structure with both conservation and innovation.


chloroplast divisionevolutioncyanobacteria

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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011