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Ion and metabolite transport in the chloroplast of algae: lessons from land plants.

Review article
Authors Justine Marchand
Parisa Heydarizadeh
Benoît Schoefs
Cornelia Spetea
Published in Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS
Volume 75
Issue 12
Pages 2153-2176
ISSN 1420-9071
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 2153-2176
Language en
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Chloroplasts are endosymbiotic organelles and play crucial roles in energy supply and metabolism of eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms (algae and land plants). They harbor channels and transporters in the envelope and thylakoid membranes, mediating the exchange of ions and metabolites with the cytosol and the chloroplast stroma and between the different chloroplast subcompartments. In secondarily evolved algae, three or four envelope membranes surround the chloroplast, making more complex the exchange of ions and metabolites. Despite the importance of transport proteins for the optimal functioning of the chloroplast in algae, and that many land plant homologues have been predicted, experimental evidence and molecular characterization are missing in most cases. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge about ion and metabolite transport in the chloroplast from algae. The main aspects reviewed are localization and activity of the transport proteins from algae and/or of homologues from other organisms including land plants. Most chloroplast transporters were identified in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, reside in the envelope and participate in carbon acquisition and metabolism. Only a few identified algal transporters are located in the thylakoid membrane and play role in ion transport. The presence of genes for putative transporters in green algae, red algae, diatoms, glaucophytes and cryptophytes is discussed, and roles in the chloroplast are suggested. A deep knowledge in this field is required because algae represent a potential source of biomass and valuable metabolites for industry, medicine and agriculture.

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