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Mechela, Annabel; Schwenkert, Serena and Soll, Jürgen (2019): A brief history of thylakoid biogenesis. In: Open Biology, Vol. 9, No. 1, 180237

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The thylakoid membrane network inside chloroplasts harbours the protein complexes that are necessary for the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis. Cellular processes for building and altering this membrane network are therefore essential for life on Earth. Nevertheless, detailed molecular processes concerning the origin and synthesis of the thylakoids remain elusive. Thylakoid biogenesis is strongly coupled to the processes of chloroplast differentiation. Chloroplasts develop from special progenitors called proplastids. As many of the needed building blocks such as lipids and pigments derive from the inner envelope, the question arises how these components are recruited to their target membrane. This review travels back in time to the beginnings of thylakoid membrane research to summarize findings, facts and fictions on thylakoid biogenesis and structure up to the present state, including new insights and future developments in this field.

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