How do plastids, mitochondria and other organelles divide?



  Chloroplasts (plastids) and mitochondria, which are derived from endosymbiosed bacterial ancestors, proliferate by binary division of pre-existing organelles. This division is carried out by separate ring-shaped macroprotein complexes known as the plastid- and mitochondrial-division machineries. Although many studies have examined plastid and mitochondrial division, much about the components and molecular mechanisms of the division machinery of each organelle remains to be discovered. To address these questions and to drive the field into a new stage, we will carry out the following research projects: (1) Molecular characterization of the components of the plastid- and mitochondrial-division machinery; (2) Investigation of the kinetic mechanisms of the plastid- and mitochondrial-division machinery at single-molecule resolution; (3) Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of PD/MD ring filament synthesis by glycosyltransferases PDR1 and MDR1; (4) Comprehensive characterization of all components involved in organelle proliferation mechanisms, not only for plastids and mitochondria but also for peroxisomes, Golgi, vacuoles, and the ER, via genome- and system-wide analyses. These proposed studies will provide insight into how the division machinery drives the constriction of division sites in these organelles, at single-molecule resolution, and how free-living cyanobacteria and alpha-proteobacteria evolved into plastids and mitochondria. Organelles are specialized subunits found in eukaryotic cells; thus, comprehensively investigating organelle proliferation mechanisms will reveal fundamental principles about organisms ranging from primitive eukaryotes and plants to animals.



Research in the Yoshida lab is supported by

  • Human Frontier Science Program

  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

  • JGC-S (Nikki saneyoshi) Scholarship Foundation

  • Sumitomo Foundation