Chloroplast Research in Arabidopsis

Volume 774 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 113-132


Studying Arabidopsis Chloroplast Structural Organisation Using Transmission Electron Microscopy

  • Stefan HymanAffiliated withCore Biotechnology Services Electron Microscopy Laboratory, University of Leicester Email author 
  • , R. Paul JarvisAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Leicester

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Chloroplasts, as well as other, non-photosynthetic types of plastid, are characteristic structures within plant cells. They are relatively large organelles (typically 1–5 μm in diameter), and so can readily be analysed by electron microscopy. Chloroplast structure is remarkably complex, comprising at least six distinct sub-organellar compartments, and is sensitive to developmental changes, environmental effects, and genetic lesions. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), therefore, represents a powerful technique for monitoring the effects of various changing parameters or treatments on the development and differentiation of these important organelles. We describe a method for the analysis of Arabidopsis plant material by TEM, primarily for the assessment of plastid ultrastructure.

Key words

Arabidopsis thaliana Chloroplast ultrastructure Plastid development TEM Trans­mission electron microscopy