Chloroplast division: squeezing the photosynthetic captive

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Dec;13(6):738-46. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.10.004. Epub 2010 Oct 30.


Chloroplasts have evolved from a cyanobacterial endosymbiont and have been retained in eukaryotic cells for more than one billion years via chloroplast division and inheritance by daughter cells during cell division. Recent studies revealed that chloroplast division is performed by a large protein complex at the division site, encompassing both the inside and the outside of the two envelope membranes. The division complex has retained a few components of the cyanobacterial division complex to go along with other components supplied by the host cell. On the basis of the information about the division complex, we are beginning to understand how the division complex evolved, and how eukaryotic host cells regulate chloroplast division during proliferation and differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division*
  • Chloroplasts / genetics
  • Chloroplasts / physiology*
  • Cyanobacteria / genetics
  • Cyanobacteria / physiology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / physiology*