Journal Article

The Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis Genes <i>MurA</i> and <i>MraY</i> are Related to Chloroplast Division in the Moss <i>Physcomitrella patens</i>

Shoko Homi, Katsuaki Takechi, Koji Tanidokoro, Hiroshi Sato, Susumu Takio and Hiroyoshi Takano

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 50, issue 12, pages 2047-2056
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
The Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis Genes MurA and MraY are Related to Chloroplast Division in the Moss Physcomitrella patens

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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In the moss Physcomitrella patens, 10 Mur genes involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis were found, and the MurE and Pbp genes are related to plastid division. Although the MraY and MurG genes were missing in our previous expressed sequence tag screening, they were discovered in the P. patens genome in this study, indicating that P. patens has a full set of genes capable of synthesizing peptidoglycan. In addition, a second MurA gene (PpMurA2) was found. Whereas Northern analyses indicated that PpMurA1, PpMurG and PpMraY were expressed, transcripts of PpMurA2 were detected only when RT–PCR was employed. Whereas GFP fusion proteins with either PpMurA1 or PpMraY were detected in chloroplasts, the PpMurA2 fusion proteins were located in the cytoplasm. Protonema cells in the wild-type plants had an average of 46 chloroplasts. PpMurA1 gene-disrupted lines had <10 chloroplasts, whereas approximately 30 chloroplasts existed in the PpMurA2 knockout lines. The PpMurA1/A2 double-knockout lines had only a few macrochloroplasts, suggesting a redundant function for these two genes. Disruption of the PpMraY gene in P. patens resulted in the appearance of macrochloroplasts. Anabaena MraY fused to the N-terminal region of PpMraY and A. thaliana MraY could complement the macrochloroplast phenotype in the PpMraY knockout line. Electron microscopic observations showed no obvious differences in the shape or stacking of thylakoid membranes between all knockout transformants and wild-type plants, suggesting that these Mur genes are related only to plastid division in moss.

Keywords: Moss • MurA • MraY • Peptidoglycan • Plastid division • Physcomitrella patens

Journal Article.  5237 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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