3 years ago

The monoplastidic bottleneck in algae and plant evolution.

Gould, de Vries
Plastids in plants and algae evolved from the endosymbiotic integration of a cyanobacterium by a heterotrophic eukaryote. New plastids can only emerge through fission; thus, the synchronization of bacterial division with the cell cycle of the eukaryotic host was vital to the origin of phototrophic eukaryotes. Most of the sampled algae house a single plastid per cell and basal-branching relatives of polyplastidic lineages are all monoplastidic, as are some non-vascular plants during certain stages of their life cycle. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the molecular components necessary for plastid division, including those of the peptidoglycan wall (of which remnants were recently identified in moss), in a wide range of phototrophic eukaryotes. Our comparison of the phenotype of 131 species harbouring plastids of either primary or secondary origin uncovers that one prerequisite for an algae or plant to house multiple plastids per nucleus appears to be the loss of the bacterial genes minD and minE from the plastid genome. The presence of a single plastid whose division is coupled to host cytokinesis was a prerequisite of plastid emergence. An escape from such a monoplastidic bottleneck succeeded rarely and appears to be coupled to the evolution of additional layers of control over plastid division and a complex morphology. The existence of a quality control checkpoint of plastid transmission remains to be demonstrated and is tied to understanding the monoplastidic bottleneck.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.203414

DOI: 10.1242/jcs.203414

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