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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Dec 12;1541(1-2):91-101.

Biogenesis and origin of thylakoid membranes.

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  • 1Botanisches Istitut, Christian-Albrechts-Universit├Ąt Kiel, Germany.


Thylakoids are photosynthetically active membranes found in Cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. It is likely that they originated in photosynthetic bacteria, probably in close connection to the occurrence of photosystem II and oxygenic photosynthesis. In higher plants, chloroplasts develop from undifferentiated proplastids. These contain very few internal membranes and the whole thylakoid membrane system is built when chloroplast differentiation takes place. During cell and organelle division a constant synthesis of new thylakoid membrane material is required. Also, rapid adaptation to changes in light conditions and long term adaptation to a number of environmental factors are accomplished by changes in the lipid and protein content of the thylakoids. Thus regulation of synthesis and assembly of all these elements is required to ensure optimal function of these membranes.

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