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Planta. 1999 Sep;209(3):371-5.

Isolation of dividing chloroplasts with intact plastid-dividing rings from a synchronous culture of the unicellular red alga cyanidioschyzon merolae

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


In order to obtain a three-dimensional view of the plastid-dividing ring (PD ring) and promote the biochemical study of plastid division, we developed a procedure to isolate structurally intact dividing chloroplasts (rhodoplasts) possessing PD rings from a highly synchronized culture of the unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. The procedure consists of five steps. (1) The chloroplast division cycle is synchronized by light/dark cycles and treatment with 5-fluorodeoxyuridine. (2) The synchronized cells are treated with hypotonic solution. (3) The swollen cells are lysed in a French Pressure Cell. (4) The lysate is treated with DNase I. (5) The intact chloroplasts are separated by density-gradient centrifugation. The PD ring was visualized by fluorescence microscopy, after labeling the surface proteins of isolated chloroplasts with N-hydroxy-sulfo-succinimidyl biotin and detecting them with fluorescein isothiocyanate avidin. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that the outer envelopes and PD rings were conserved on the isolated dividing chloroplasts. These are the first fluorescence microscopic and SEM images of the PD ring and they clearly show PD rings encircling isolated dividing chloroplasts in three dimensions.


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