Genetic Analysis of Chlorophyll Biosynthesis

David W. Bollivar, Jon Y. Suzuki, Carl E. Bauer

Research output: Journal ArticleArticlepeer-review


During this decade, there have been major advancements in the understanding of genetic loci involved in synthesis of the family of Mg-tetrapyrroles known as chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls. Molecular genetic analysis of Mg-tetrapyrrole biosynthesis was initiated by the performance of detailed sequence and mutational analysis of the photosynthesis gene cluster from Rhodobacter capsulatus. These studies provided the first detailed understanding of genes involved in bacteriochlorophyll a biosynthesis. In the short time since these studies were initiated, most of the chlorophyll biosynthesis genes have been identified by virtue of their ability to complement bacteriochlorophyll a biosynthesis mutants as well as by sequence homology comparisons. This review is centered on a discussion of our current understanding of bacterial, algal, and plant genes that code for enzymes in the Mg-branch of the tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway that are responsible for synthesis of chlorophylls and cteriochlorophylls.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalAnnual Review of Genetics
StatePublished - 1997


  • Mg-tetrapyrrole
  • chlorophyll
  • bacteriochlorophyll
  • photosynthesis.


  • Molecular Biology

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