The cyanelles of glaucocystophytes are probably the most primitive of known extant plastids and the closest to cyanobacteria. Their kidney shape and FtsZ arc during the early stage of division define cyanelle division. In order to deepen and expand earlier results (Planta 227:177-187, 2007), cells of Cyanophora paradoxa were fixed with two different chemical and two different freeze-fixation methods. In addition, cyanelles from C. paradoxa were isolated to observe the surface structure of dividing cyanelles using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). A shallow furrow started on one side of the division plane. The furrow subsequently extended, covering the entire division circle, and then invaginated deeply, becoming clearly visible. The typical FtsZ arc was 2.3-3.4 microm long. This length matches that of the cleavage furrow observed using FE-SEM. The cyanelle cleavage furrows are from one-fourth to one-half of the circumference of the division plane. The shallow furrow that appears on the cyanelle outer surface effectively changes the division plane. Using freeze-fixation methods, the electron-dense stroma and peptidoglycan could be distinguished. In addition, an electron-dense belt structure (the cyanelle ring) was observed inside the leading edge at the cyanelle division plane. The FtsZ arc is located at the division plane ahead of the cyanelle ring. Immunogold-TEM localization shows that FtsZ is located interiorly of the cyanelle ring. The lack of an outer PD ring, together with the arch-shaped furrow, suggests that the mechanical force of the initial (arch shaped) septum furrow constriction comes from inside the cyanelle.
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