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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004 Jun;7(3):270-6.

Phosphatidylglycerol and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol: anionic membrane lipids and phosphate regulation.

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RWTH Aachen University, Institute for Biology I, Botany, Worringerweg 1, 52056 Aachen, Germany.


Photosynthetic membranes of organisms from cyanobacteria to seed plants are characterized by the neutral galactolipids and the anionic glycerolipids sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol. Recent findings have brought new insights into the biosynthesis of the anionic membrane lipids, the evolutionary origin of the enzymes involved in this process, and the importance of phosphatidylglycerol and sulfoquinovosyldiacylgycerol in photosynthesis. Photosynthetic membranes require a defined level of anionic membrane lipids for proper function, and phosphatidylglycerol and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol can substitute for each other to a certain extent. A defined level of phosphatidylglycerol is, however, indispensable for photoautotrophic growth. On the other hand, sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol plays a conditionally important role in enabling photosynthetic organisms to survive the phosphate-limiting conditions frequently encountered in natural habitats.

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