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Isolation of mitochondrial and plastid ftsZ genes and analysis of the organelle targeting sequence in the diatom Chaetoceros neogracile (Diatoms, Bacillariophyceae)


  • Communicating editor: I. Mine.



Mitochondria and plastids multiply by division in eukaryotic cells. Recently, the eukaryotic homolog of the bacterial cell division protein FtsZ was identified and shown to play an important role in the organelle division process inside the inner membrane. To explore the evolution of FtsZ proteins, and to accumulate data on the protein import system in mitochondria and plastids of the red algal lineage, one mitochondrial and three plastid ftsZ genes were isolated from the diatom Chaetoceros neogracile, whose plastids were acquired by secondary endosymbiotic uptake of a red alga. Protein import into organelles depends on the N-terminal organelle targeting sequences. N-terminal bipartite presequences consisting of an endoplasmic reticulum signal peptide and a plastid transit peptide are required for protein import into diatom plastids. To characterize the organelle targeting peptides of C. neogracile, we observed the localization of each green fluorescent protein-tagged predicted organelle targeting peptide in cultured tobacco cells and diatom cells. Our data suggested that each targeting sequences functioned both in tobacco cultured cells and diatom cells.