The timing and manner of disassembly of the apparatuses for chloroplast and mitochondrial division in the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae

Planta. 2001 Mar;212(4):517-28. doi: 10.1007/s004250000426.


The timing and manner of disassembly of the apparatuses for chloroplast division (the plastid-dividing ring; PD ring) and mitochondrial division (the mitochondrion-dividing ring; MD ring) were investigated in the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae De Luca, Taddei and Varano. To do this, we synchronized cells both at the final stage of and just after chloroplast and mitochondrial division, and observed the rings in three dimensions by transmission electron microscopy. The inner (beneath the stromal face of the inner envelope) and middle (in the inter-membrane space) PD rings disassembled completely, and disappeared just before completion of chloroplast division. In contrast, the outer PD and MD rings (on the cytoplasmic face of the outer envelope) remained in the cytosol between daughter organelles after chloroplast and mitochondrial division. The outer rings started to disassemble and disappear from their surface just after organelle division, initially clinging to the outer envelopes at both edges before detaching. The results suggest that the two rings inside the chloroplast disappear just before division, and that this does not interfere with completion of division, while the outer PD and MD rings function throughout and complete chloroplast and mitochondrial division. These results, together with previous studies of C. merolae, disclose the entire cycle of change of the PD and MD rings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbocyanines
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chloroplasts / physiology*
  • Chloroplasts / ultrastructure
  • Cytosol / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Organelles / physiology
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Rhodophyta / physiology*
  • Rhodophyta / ultrastructure
  • Time


  • Carbocyanines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • 3,3'-dihexyl-2,2'-oxacarbocyanine