Inheritance & Variation of Traits, Inheritance 1: Mitosis (HS), Inheritance 2: Genes and Growth (MS), Inheritance 2: Role of DNA (HS), Inheritance 4: Asexual/Sexual (MS), Life Science, M&E 1: Photosynthesis (HS), M&E 1: Photosynthesis (MS), Matter & Energy in Organisms/Ecosystems, S&F 1: Cells (MS), S&F 2: Cell Function (MS), Structure and Function

Chloroplast Division

Chloroplast Division

SUMMARY: Chloroplast division in plants is still a fairly unknown topic when it comes to specific cellular/molecular mechanisms. This paper describes, step by step, all the proteins and enzymes involved in helping chloroplasts divide (FtsZ, Min system, ARC6, etc.) It also compares the division of chloroplasts to binary fission in various prokaryotes (FtsZ in bacteria versus FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 in plants). The conclusion of the paper states that there needs to be more genomic research done on how the various parts of plastid division connect to each other and to the plant cell as a whole.

LESSON COMMENTS: This is a good paper on mechanisms of prokaryotic cell division. The information in this paper can be compared and contrasted to mitosis. Teachers can break down the different mechanisms in mitosis and compare it to the mechanisms in this paper (the various proteins that play a role and where/how the Z-ring is positioned). This paper can also be used during a cell biology lesson, with students discussing the differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Environmental science classes can use this paper to talk about endosymbiotic relationships. Cyanobacteria are easy to find in summer waters (look for algae blooms) and students can compare the cell size of cyanobacteria to eukaryotic cells (such as Chlamydomonas or even euglena). Finally, the actions of FtsZ and the Min system to position the Z-ring can be used as good examples of enzyme specificity.

Glynn, J. M., Miyagishima, S., Yoder, D. W., Osteryoung, K. W., & Vitha, S. (2007). Chloroplast Division. Traffic,8(5), 451-461. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0854.2007.00545.x