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Since its endosymbiotic beginning, the chloroplast has become fully integrated into the biology of the host eukaryotic cell. The exchange of genetic information from the chloroplast to the nucleus has resulted in considerable co-ordination in the activities of these two organelles during all stages of plant development. Here, we give an overview of the mechanisms of light perception and the subsequent regulation of nuclear gene expression in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and we cover the main events that take place when proplastids differentiate into chloroplasts. We also consider recent findings regarding signalling networks between the chloroplast and the nucleus during seedling development, and how these signals are modulated by light. In addition, we discuss the mechanisms through which chloroplasts develop in different cell types, namely cotyledons and the dimorphic chloroplasts of the C(4) plant maize. Finally, we discuss recent data that suggest the specific regulation of the light-dependent phases of photosynthesis, providing a means to optimize photosynthesis to varying light regimes.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2861 - 2873


Arabidopsis, Chloroplasts, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Light, Morphogenesis, Plastids, Signal Transduction