Research Topic

Advances in plastid biology and its applications

About this Research Topic

One of the distinguishing features of plants is the presence of membrane-bound organelles called plastids. Starting from proplastids (undifferentiated plastids) they readily develop into specialised types adapted for functions ranging from photosynthesis to the synthesis of secondary metabolites. The central ...

One of the distinguishing features of plants is the presence of membrane-bound organelles called plastids. Starting from proplastids (undifferentiated plastids) they readily develop into specialised types adapted for functions ranging from photosynthesis to the synthesis of secondary metabolites. The central role of plastids in many aspects of plant cell biology means an in-depth understanding is key for a holistic view of plant physiology.

Plastids possess their own high-copy number genome known as the plastome. At maturity, they contain ~3,000 proteins, which are both plastid and nuclear encoded, the latter of which are imported from the cytosol, resulting in the evolution of a sophisticated signalling network between the plastids and the nucleus for proper organismal functioning and development. Despite the vast amount of research, the molecular details of many aspects of plastid biology remain unknown.

Transformation of chloroplasts – green plastids – has been developed as an alternative to conventional protein expression systems. A high-copy number of the plastome, site-specific integration of transgenes through homologous recombination, and high expression levels (>70% of total soluble proteins in some cases) have become the salient features of this technology.  Additionally, plastids are inherited maternally, providing a natural gene containment system, and do not follow Mendelian laws of inheritance, allowing each individual member of the progeny of a transplastomic line to provide a similar expression level. Both algal and higher plant chloroplast transformation has been demonstrated, and with the ability to be propagated either in bioreactors or in the field, both systems are ideally suited for scale up of production.

The manipulation of chloroplast genes is essential for many approaches attempting to increase biomass accumulation or re-routing metabolic pathways for biofortification, food and fuel production. This includes metabolic engineering for lipid production, adapting the light harvesting apparatus to improve solar conversion efficiency and engineering means of suppressing photorespiration in crop species, which range from the introduction of artificial carbon concentrating mechanisms, or those pre-existing elsewhere in nature, to bypassing ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase entirely.

The purpose of this topic is to provide a vibrant platform for the scientific community engaged in researching various aspects of plastid biology including basic biology, biopharming, metabolic engineering, bio-fortification, stress physiology, and biofuel production.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top