Development-Dependent Changes in the Amount and Structural Organization of Plastid DNA

  • Karsten Liere
  • Thomas BörnerEmail author
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 36)


Plastids usually contain numerous copies of their genome. The reason of maintaining high copy numbers of the plastome and their changes resulting from developmental, cellular (e.g., nuclear ploidy levels), and environmental cues remains elusive. The DNA is contained in certain regions of the plastids, the nucleoids. Number and shape of nucleoids change during leaf and chloroplast development. Generally, a substantial increase of nucleoids and therefore plastome copy numbers per organelle and cell occurs very early in leaf development, which later on provides not only enough plastomes for the distribution during plastid division, but may also meet the increasing demand for plastid gene products during chloroplast biogenesis. Later in leaf development the fate of chloroplast DNA seems to be regulated in a species-specific manner. While some species further increase the amount of plastid DNA (at least per cell), others seem to decrease plastome copy numbers per cell and per organelle during chloroplast maturation. The amount of chloroplast DNA decreases during senescence.


Leaf Development DAPI Staining Plastid Genome Chloroplast Development Chloroplast Division 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


CND41 –

41 kDa chloroplast nucleoid DNA binding protein;




Nuclear-encoded plastid RNA-polymerase;


Plastid envelope DNA-binding protein;


Plastid-encoded plastid RNA-polymerase;

ppGpp –

Guanosine 5′-diphosphate 3′-diphosphate;

qPCR –

Quantitative real-time PCR;

RubBisCO –

Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase;

SN-type –

Scattered nucleoid type; TAC – Transcriptionally active chromosome



The work of the authors was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 429). We are thankful to Reinhold G. Herrmann (Munich) and Hieronim Golczyk (Lublin) for providing Fig. 11.1.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Biologie/GenetikHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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