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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2014;65:443-72. doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-050213-035748. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Division and dynamic morphology of plastids.

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Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824; email:


Plastid division is fundamental to the biology of plant cells. Division by binary fission entails the coordinated assembly and constriction of four concentric rings, two internal and two external to the organelle. The internal FtsZ ring and external dynamin-like ARC5/DRP5B ring are connected across the two envelopes by the membrane proteins ARC6, PARC6, PDV1, and PDV2. Assembly-stimulated GTPase activity drives constriction of the FtsZ and ARC5/DRP5B rings, which together with the plastid-dividing rings pull and squeeze the envelope membranes until the two daughter plastids are formed, with the final separation requiring additional proteins. The positioning of the division machinery is controlled by the chloroplast Min system, which confines FtsZ-ring formation to the plastid midpoint. The dynamic morphology of plastids, especially nongreen plastids, is also considered here, particularly in relation to the production of stromules and plastid-derived vesicles and their possible roles in cellular communication and plastid functionality.

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