Control of Thylakoid Membrane Development and Assembly

  • Andrew N. Webber
  • Neil R. Baker
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 4)


Development of photosynthetically competent thylakoid membranes requires the coordinated synthesis and assembly of a large number of polypeptides of both cytoplasmic and chloroplast origins. Chloroplast and nuclear gene expression has been the subject of intensive research in recent years and has led to detailed understanding of molecular aspects of the control of transcription, mRNA stability and translation. In the first part of this review we discuss recent advances in the understanding of the control of photosynthetic gene expression and how this may relate to the assembly of thylakoid protein complexes and processes by which stoichiometric levels of thylakoid protein complexes are achieved and maintained. In the second part we emphasize that the rate of chloroplast development and rapid establishment of a photochemically competent photosynthetic apparatus is an important determinant of plant productivity. Consideration is given to the appearance of photosynthetic activities during chloroplast development and how this may be perturbed by changes in the physical environment. It is concluded that a major gap in our understanding of the developmental biology of the thylakoid membrane lies between the detailed knowledge of the molecular processes of photosynthetic gene expression and the appearance of physiologically active chloroplast protein complexes in the membrane.


Cab – Chlorophyll a/b binding protein CP43 – 43 kDa chlorophyll a; binding protein of PS II core antenna CP47 – 47 kDa chlorophyll a binding protein of PS II core antenna P680 – Primary donor of Photosystem II P700 – Primary donor of Photosystem I PMS – N-methylphenazonium methosulfate PS I – Photosystem I PS II – Photosystem II UTR – untranslated region of mRNA 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew N. Webber
    • 1
  • Neil R. Baker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Center for the Study of Early Events in PhotosynthesisArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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