Aerobic life on Earth depends on oxygenic photosynthesis. This fundamentally important process is carried out within an elaborate membranous system, called the thylakoid network. In angiosperms, thylakoid networks are constructed almost from scratch by an intricate, light-dependent process in which lipids, proteins, and small organic molecules are assembled into morphologically and functionally differentiated, three-dimensional lamellar structures. In this review, we summarize the major events that occur during this complex, largely elusive process, concentrating on those that are directly involved in network formation and potentiation and highlighting gaps in our knowledge, which, as hinted by the title, are substantial.
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Acknowledgments Work in the laboratories of Z.A. and Z.R. was supported by a joint grant from the F.I.R.S.T. (Bikura) program of the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1282/09). Z.R. wishes to thank financial support from the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1005/07), Dr. Josef Cohn Minerva center for Biomembrane Research, and the Carolito Stiftung. Z.A. thanks the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 385/08) and the US—Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD, grant no. 4228-09) for their support. Members of both labs are acknowledged for stimulating discussions.
- Thylakoid membranes