In unicellular algae with a single chloroplast, two mechanisms coordinate cell and chloroplast division: the S phase–specific expression of chloroplast division genes and the permission of cell cycle progression from prophase to metaphase by the onset of chloroplast division. This study investigated whether a similar mechanism exists in a unicellular alga with multiple chloroplasts using the glaucophyte alga Cyanophora sudae, which contains four chloroplasts (cyanelles). Cells with eight cyanelles appeared after the S phase arrest with a topoisomerase inhibitor camptothecin, suggesting that the mechanism of S phase–specific expression of cyanelle division genes was conserved in this alga. Inhibition of peptidoglycan synthesis by β-lactam antibiotic ampicillin arrested cells in the S–G2 phase, and inhibition of septum invagination with cephalexin resulted in cells with two nuclei and one cyanelle, despite inhibition of cyanelle division. This indicates that even in the unicellular alga with four chloroplasts, the cell cycle progresses to the M phase following the progression of chloroplast division to a certain division stage. These results suggested that C. sudae has two mechanisms for coordinating cell and cyanelle division, similar to the unicellular algae with a single chloroplast.
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