Etioplast and etio-chloroplast formation under natural conditions: The dark side of chlorophyll biosynthesis in angiosperms

Katalin Solymosi, Benoît Schoefs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

100 Citations (Scopus)


Chloroplast development is usually regarded as proceeding from proplastids. However, direct or indirect conversion pathways have been described in the literature, the latter involving the etioplast or the etio-chloroplast stages. Etioplasts are characterized by the absence of chlorophylls (Chl-s) and the presence of a unique inner membrane network, the prolamellar body (PLB), whereas etio-chloroplasts contain Chl-s and small PLBs interconnected with chloroplast thylakoids. As etioplast development requires growth in darkness for several days, this stage is generally regarded as a nonnatural pathway of chloroplast development occurring only under laboratory conditions. In this article, we have reviewed the data in favor of the involvement of etioplasts and etio-chloroplasts as intermediary stage(s) in chloroplast formation under natural conditions, the molecular aspects of PLB formation and we propose a dynamic model for its regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-166
Number of pages24
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2010



  • Chlorophyll biosynthesis
  • Chloroplast differentiation
  • Etioplast
  • Etioplast-chloroplast transition
  • Prolamellar body
  • Protochlorophyllide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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