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The assembly of the FtsZ ring at the mid-chloroplast division site depends on a balance between the activities of AtMinE1 and ARC11/AtMinD1.

Fujiwara M.T., Hashimoto H., Kazama Y., Abe T., Yoshida S., Sato N., Itoh R.D.

Chloroplast division comprises a sequence of events that facilitate symmetric binary fission and that involve prokaryotic-like stromal division factors such as tubulin-like GTPase FtsZ and the division site regulator MinD. In Arabidopsis, a nuclear-encoded prokaryotic MinE homolog, AtMinE1, has been characterized in terms of its effects on a dividing or terminal chloroplast state in a limited series of leaf tissues. However, the relationship between AtMinE1 expression and chloroplast phenotype remains to be fully elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that a T-DNA insertion mutation in AtMinE1 results in a severe inhibition of chloroplast division, producing motile dots and short filaments of FtsZ. In AtMinE1 sense (overexpressor) plants, dividing chloroplasts possess either single or multiple FtsZ rings located at random intervals and showing constriction depth, mainly along the chloroplast polarity axis. The AtMinE1 sense plants displayed equivalent chloroplast phenotypes to arc11, a loss-of-function mutant of AtMinD1 which forms replicating mini-chloroplasts. Furthermore, a certain population of FtsZ rings formed within developing chloroplasts failed to initiate or progress the membrane constriction of chloroplasts and consequentially to complete chloroplast fission in both AtMinE1 sense and arc11/atminD1 plants. Our present data thus demonstrate that the chloroplast division site placement involves a balance between the opposing activities of AtMinE1 and AtMinD1, which acts to prevent FtsZ ring formation anywhere outside of the mid-chloroplast. In addition, the imbalance caused by an AtMinE1 dominance causes multiple, non-synchronous division events at the single chloroplast level, as well as division arrest, which becomes apparent as the chloroplasts mature, in spite of the presence of FtsZ rings.

Plant Cell Physiol. 49:345-361(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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