Tribute Roland Douce, 1939–2018

  • Jacques JoyardEmail author
  • Hartmut K. Lichtenthaler
History and Biography


On November 4, 2018, Roland Douce, Professor Emeritus at the University of Grenoble, France, died at the age of 79. In Grenoble, where he spent most of his scientific career, Roland Douce created a world-renowned school of plant science, studying the structure, functions, and interactions of plant organelles involved in photosynthesis, respiration, and photorespiration. His main achievements concern the chemical and functional characterization of chloroplast envelope membranes, the demonstration of the uniqueness of plant mitochondria, and the integration of metabolism within the plant cell, among manifold activities. Roland Douce devoted his whole life to science and research with passion and enthusiasm: he was a true charismatic leader.


Chloroplast envelope Glycerolipids Lipidomics Metabolomics Mitochondria Photorespiration 



We deeply thank all friends and colleagues who expressed their wishes to pay tribute to Roland Douce. We also thank Marie-France Joyard, Ian Max Møller, Arthur Nonomura, and HP Siebertz for providing photos. Our special thanks go to Michel Neuburger and Richard Bligny for their invaluable contribution to this article. They were the first members (together with JJ) of the group set up in 1974 by Roland Douce in Grenoble.


Major review articles and books

  1. Alban C, Job D, Douce R (2000) Biotin metabolism in plants. Ann Rev Plant Phys Plant Mol Biol 51:17–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bligny R, Douce R (2001) NMR and plant metabolism. Curr Opin Plant Biol 4:191–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Block MA, Douce R, Joyard J, Rolland N (2007) Chloroplast envelope membranes: a dynamic interface between plastids and the cytosol. Photosynth Res 92:225–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Douce R (1985) Mitochondria in higher plants: structure, function, and biogenesis. Academic Press, Orlando, p. 327Google Scholar
  5. Douce R, Joyard J (1979) Structure and function of the plastid envelope. Adv Bot Res 7:1–116Google Scholar
  6. Douce R, Joyard J (1980) Plant Galactolipids. In: Stumpf PK (ed) Biochemistry of plants, a comprehensive treatise, vol 4. Academic Press, Davis, pp. 321–362Google Scholar
  7. Douce R, Joyard J (1990) Biochemistry and function of the plastid envelope. Ann Rev Cell Biol 6:173–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Douce R, Neuburger M (1999) Biochemical dissection of photorespiration. Curr Opin Plant Biol 2:214–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Douce R, Bourguignon J, Neuburger M, Rébeillé F (2001) The glycine decarboxylase system: a fascinating complex. Trends Plant Sci 6(4):167–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Douce R, Neuburger M (1989) The uniqueness of plant mitochondria. Ann Rev Plant Phys Plant Mol Biol 40:371–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Douce R, Block MA, Dorne AJ, Joyard J (1984) The plastid envelope membranes: Their structure, composition, and role in chloroplast biogenesis. Subcell Biochem 10:1–84Google Scholar
  12. Packer L, Douce R (eds) (1987) Plant cell membranes. In: Methods in enzymology, vol 148. Academic Press, New York, p. 762Google Scholar
  13. Ravanel S, Gakière B, Job D, Douce R (1998) The specific features of methionine biosynthesis and metabolism in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95(13):7805–7812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ravanel S, Douce R, Rebeillé F (2011) Metabolism of folates in plants. Adv Bot Res 59:67–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rébeillé F, Douce R (1999) Folate synthesis and compartmentation in higher plants. In: Kruger NJ, Hill SA, Ratcliffe RG (eds) Regulation of primary metabolic pathways in plants. Proceedings of the phytochemical society of Europe, vol 42. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  16. Rébeillé F, Alban C, Bourguignon J, Ravanel S, Douce R (2007) The role of plant mitochondria in the biosynthesis of coenzymes. Photosynth Res 92(2):149–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Original research papers

  1. Aubert S, Gout E, Bligny R, Marty-Mazars D, Barrieu F, Alabouvette J, Marty F, Douce R (1996) Ultrastructural and biochemical characterization of autophagy in higher plant cells subjected to carbon deprivation: control by the supply of mitochondria with respiratory substrates. J Cell Biol 133:1251–1263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biou V, Dumas R, Cohen-Addad C, Douce R, Job D, Pebay-Peyroula E (1997) The crystal structure of plant acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase complexed with NADPH, two magnesium ions and a herbicidal transition state analog determined at 1.65 Å resolution. EMBO J 16:3405–3415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bligny R, Douce R (1980) A precise localization of cardiolipin in plant cells. Biochim Biophys Acta 617(2):254–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Block MA, Dorne AJ, Joyard J, Douce R (1983) Preparation and characterization of membrane fractions enriched in outer and inner envelope membranes from spinach chloroplasts. I. Electrophoretic and immunochemical analyses and II. Biochemical characterization. J Biol Chem 258(21):258(21):13273–13280Google Scholar
  5. Buchanan BB, Douce R, Lichtenthaler HK (2007) Andrew A. Benson. Photosynth Res 92:143–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen-Addad C, Pares S, Sieker L, Neuburger M, Douce R (1995) The lipoamide arm in the glycine decarboxylase complex is not freely swinging. Nat Struct Mol Biol 2(1):63–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coulon-Morelec MJ, Douce R (1968) Diphosphatidylglycerol of higher plants. I. The structure of plant diphosphatidylglycerol. Bull Soc Chim Biol (Paris) 50(9):1547–1559Google Scholar
  8. Dorne AJ, Joyard J, Block MA, Douce R (1985) Localization of phosphatidylcholine in outer envelope membrane of spinach chloroplasts. J Cell Biol 100(5):1690–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Douce R, Christensen EL, Bonner WD Jr (1972) Preparation of intact plant mitochondria. Biochim et Biophys Acta 275:148–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Douce R, Holtz RB, Benson AA (1973) Isolation and properties of the envelope of spinach chloroplasts. J Biol Chem 248(20):7215–7222Google Scholar
  11. Douce R (1974) Site of biosynthesis of galactolipids in spinach chloroplasts. Science 183(4127):852–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gout E, Rébeillé F, Douce R, Bligny R (2014) Regulation of cell respiration by ADP and Mg2+. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(43):E4560–E4567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gout E, Bligny R, Douce R, Boisson A, Rivasseau C (2011) Early response of plant cell to carbon deprivation: in vivo 31P-NMR spectroscopy shows a quasi-instantaneous disruption on cytosolic sugars, phosphorylated intermediates of energy metabolism, phosphate partitioning, and intracellular pHs. New Phytol 189:135–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeffrey SW, Douce R, Benson AA (1974) Carotenoid transformations in the chloroplast envelope. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 71(3):807–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Journet EP, Bligny R, Douce R (1986) Biochemical changes during sucrose deprivation in higher plant cells. J Biol Chem 261:3193–3199Google Scholar
  16. Joyard J, Douce R (1977) Site of synthesis of phospatidic acid and diacylglycerol in spinach chloroplasts. Biochim Biophys Acta 486:273–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Joyard J, Grossman A, Bartlett SG, Douce R, Chua NH (1982) Characterization of envelope membrane polypeptides from spinach chloroplasts. J Biol Chem 257(2):1095–1101Google Scholar
  18. Lichtenthaler HK (2004) Thirty years of international symposia on plant lipids. In: Biacs P and Gerely P (eds) Proceedings of the 16th plant lipid symposium. Mete Publisher, Budapest, pp. I–XXXIGoogle Scholar
  19. Lichtenthaler HK, Buchanan BB, Douce R (2008) Honoring Andrew Benson in Paris: a tribute on his 90th birthday. Photosynth Res 96:181–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lichtenthaler HK, Buchanan BB, Douce R, Govindjee (2015) Andrew A. Benson, 1917–2015. Photosynth Res 124:131–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lichtenthaler HK, Prenzel U, Douce R, Joyard J (1981) Localization of prenylquinones in the envelope of spinach chloroplasts. Biochim Biophys Acta 641:99–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maréchal E, Block MA, Joyard J, Douce R (1994) Kinetic properties of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol synthase from spinach chloroplast envelope membranes. J Biol Chem 269:5788–5798Google Scholar
  23. Martin JB, Bligny R, Rébeillé F, Douce R, Leguay JJ, Mathieu Y, Guern J (1982) A 31P nuclear magnetic resonance study of intracellular pH of plant cells cultivated in liquid medium. Plant Physiol 70:1156–1161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Miège C, Maréchal E, Shimojima M, Awai K, Block MA, Ohta H, Takamiya K, Douce R, Joyard J (1999) Biochemical and topological properties of type A MGDG synthase, a spinach chloroplast envelope enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic MGDG. Eur J Biochem 265:990–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Neuburger M, Douce R (1980) Slow passive diffusion of NAD + between intact isolated plant mitochondria and suspending medium. Biochem J 216:443–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Neuburger M, Journet EP, Bligny R, Carde JP, Douce R (1982) Purification of plant mitochondria by isopycnic centrifugation in density gradients of Percoll. Arch Biochem Biophys 217:312–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rébeillé F, Bligny R, Martin JB, Douce R (1985) Effect of sucrose starvation on sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) cell carbohydrate and Pi status. Biochem l 226:679–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Roby C, Martin JB, Bligny R, Douce R (1987) Biochemical changes during sucrose deprivation in higher plant cells. Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance studies. J Biol Chem 262:5000–5007Google Scholar
  29. Sato N, Albrieux C, Joyard J, Douce R, Kuroiwa T (1993) Detection and characterization of plastid envelope DNA-binding protein that may anchors plastid nucleoids. EMBO J 12:555–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Siebertz HP, Heinz E, Joyard J, Douce R (1979) Characterization of lipids from chloroplast envelopes. Eur J Biochem 101:429–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie cellulaire et végétaleInstitut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire de Grenoble, Université Grenoble Alpes, CEA, CNRS, INRAGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Botany 2 (Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of Plants)Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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