Molecular divergence and characterization of two chloroplast division genes, FtsZ1 and FtsZ2, in the unicellular green alga Nannochloris bacillaris (Chlorophyta)

Tomojirou Koide, Tomokazu Yamazaki, Maki Yamamoto, Mariko Fujishita, Hideo Nomura, Yohsuke Moriyama, Nobuko Sumiya, Sachihiro Matsunaga, Wataru Sakamoto, Shigeyuki Kawano

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Two FtsZ paralogues (NbFtsZ1 and NbFtsZ2) were isolated from the unicellular green alga Nannochloris bacillaris Naumann. These sequences encoded proteins of 435 and 439 amino acids with tubulin signature motifs (GGGTG[T/S]G), which are important for GTP binding activity. NbFtsZ1 and NbFtsZ2 had four and three introns, respectively, and two different putative core promoters; a TATA box (TATAAAA) and an initiator element (CCCAGG) were located 40 bp and 80 bp upstream of the coding regions of NbFtsZ1 and NbFtsZ2, respectively. Southern blot hybridization and contourclamped homogeneous electric field electrophoresis showed that N. bacillaris contained at least one copy of each gene and that NbFtsZ1 was located on chromosome 5 and NbFtsZ2 on chromosome 3 or 4. Phylogenetically, NbFtsZ1 and NbFtsZ2 belong to the vascular plant protein families FtsZ1 and FtsZ2, respectively. The FtsZ1 proteins do not contain carboxy-terminal consensus sequences, whereas all FtsZ2 proteins possess the consensus sequence (I/V)PxFL(R/K)(K/R)(K/R). Our study has shown that NbFtsZ2 possesses a similar consensus sequence (VPDFLRRK), whereas NbFtsZ1 does not, further supporting their classification as FtsZ2 and FtsZ1. Escherichia coli ftsZ mutants transformed with cloned NbFtsZ1, and NbFtsZ2 cDNAs were restored for the capacity to divide by binary fission, suggesting that the proteins retained the ability to function in the bacterium. An anti-NbFtsZ2 anti-body specifically recognized a single protein band of approximately 51 kDa on an immunoblot of N. bacillaris cellular proteins. Immunostaining of the algal cells with this antibody produced an intense fluorescent signal as a ring near the middle of the cell, which corresponded to the chloroplast division site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-556
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun



  • Chloroplast division
  • FtsZ
  • Nannochloris bacillaris

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

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