Photosynthetic membranes, or thylakoids, are the most extensive membrane system found in the biosphere. They form flattened membrane cisternae in the cytosol of cyanobacteria and in the stroma of chloroplasts. The efficiency of light energy capture and conversion, critical for primary production in ecosystems, relies on the rapid expansion of thylakoids and their versatile reorganization in response to light changes. Thylakoid biogenesis results from the assembly of a lipid matrix combined with the incorporation of protein components. Four lipid classes are conserved from cyano- bacteria to chloroplasts: mono- and digalactosyldiacylglycerol, sulfoquinovosyldiacyl- glycerol, and phosphatidyldiacylglycerol. This review focuses on the production and biophysical properties of galactolipids, making them determinant factors for the nonvesicular/nonlamellar biogenesis and for the three-dimensional architecture of nascent thylakoids. The regulation of MGD1, the committing enzyme of galactolipid biosynthesis in Arabidopsis, via feedback regulatory loops and control of protein binding to membranes, is also detailed.