What we expect you to know


You should know, what these terms mean and you should be able to explain them in your own words.

Plastids . Chloroplast . Chromoplast . Amyloplast . Proplastid . Stroma . Thylakoids . Signal peptide . Chlorophyll . Carotinoids . transitorial starch . Secondary metabolism . endosymbiont theory . Stromules

German-English Glossary




  • You can draw and explain the structure of a plastid

  • You can show in this drawing, where light and dark reaction and ATP synthesis are located

  • You can name the developmental and functional variants of plastids properly

  • You can explain the evidence for the endosymbiotic origin of plastids

  • You can explain the core of the stromule theory and its falsification in your own words


Vertiefung (for Bachelor students)

  • 1. Take the sum formula of photosynthesis and divide it up into two formula, one for the thylakoid, the other for the stroma.
  • 2. How would the proton gradient from thylakoid lumen to stroma change in a mutant, where plastoquinone has lost function?
  • 3. In what chemical form does a C4 plant get carbon dioxide into the bundle sheath, in what form does the carrier get back into the mesophyll? Sketch down the molecules and highlight the difference
  • 4. In the extensive Cyperus genus, C3 and C4 clades coexist. You find a new Cyperus species in the field (there are >1000!). How can you easily assign them to C3 versus C4?
  • 5. What would be the phenotype of a plant, where FtsZ has suffered a loss-of-function?
  • 6. What do you expect for the expression of jasmonate induced genes when you block the expression of JASSY by RNai?


Special topic (Master students)

Some mosses (Hornworts), Lycophytes (Selaginella martii), and green algae (Mougeotia, Chlamydomonas) harbour only one giant plastid. Do they have special or missing FtsZ homologues? Do a search in a phylogenomics database such as www.orthodb.org/ and retrieve FtsZ members from algae and early land plants, but also gymnosperms and angiosperms. Do a phylogenomic tree (NJ is sufficient) and find out, whether FtsZ has diverged during land plant evolution.


Read more

  • Kiessling J, Martin A, Gremillon L, Rensing SA, Nick P, Sarnighausen E, Decker EL, Reski R (2004): Dual targeting of plastid division protein FtsZ to chloroplasts and the cytoplasm. EMBO Rep 5, 889-894 - pdf