Towards elucidation of dynamic structural changes of plant thylakoid architecture

Jan M. Anderson, Peter Horton, Eun Ha Kim, Wah Soon Chow

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)


    Long-term acclimation of shade versus sun plants modulates the composition, function and structural organization of the architecture of the thylakoid membrane network. Significantly, these changes in the macroscopic structural organization of shade and sun plant chloroplasts during long-term acclimation are also mimicked following rapid transitions in irradiance: reversible ultrastructural changes in the entire thylakoid membrane network increase the number of grana per chloroplast, but decrease the number of stacked thylakoids per granum in seconds to minutes in leaves. It is proposed that these dynamic changes depend on reversible macro-reorganization of some light-harvesting complex IIb and photosystem II supracomplexes within the plant thylakoid network owing to differential phosphorylation cycles and other biochemical changes known to ensure flexibility in photosynthetic function in vivo. Some lingering grana enigmas remain: elucidation of the mechanisms involved in the dynamic architecture of the thylakoid membrane network under fluctuating irradiance and its implications for function merit extensive further studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3515-3524
    Number of pages10
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Issue number1608
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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