Plastid division: across time and space

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Dec;11(6):577-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Nov 5.


Plastid division is executed by the coordinated action of at least two molecular machineries--an internal machinery situated on the stromal side of the inner envelope membrane that was contributed by the cyanobacterial endosymbiont from which plastids evolved, and an external machinery situated on the cytosolic side of the outer envelope membrane that was contributed by the host. Here we review progress in defining the components of the plastid division complex and understanding the mechanisms of envelope constriction and division-site placement in plants. We also highlight recent work identifying the first molecular linkage between the internal and external division machineries, shedding light on how their mid-plastid positioning is coordinated across the envelope membranes. Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate plastid division in plant cells, but recent studies have begun to hint at potential mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Plastids / metabolism*
  • Prokaryotic Cells / cytology
  • Time Factors