Automatic Chloroplast Movement Analysis

  • Henrik JohanssonEmail author
  • Mathias Zeidler
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1398)


In response to low or high intensities of light, the chloroplasts in the mesophyll cells of the leaf are able to increase or decrease their exposure to light by accumulating at the upper and lower sides or along the side walls of the cell respectively. This movement, regulated by the phototropin blue light photoreceptors phot1 and phot2, results in a decreased or increased transmission of light through the leaf. This way the plant is able to optimize harvesting of the incoming light or avoid damage caused by excess light. Here we describe a method that indirectly measures the movement of chloroplasts by taking advantage of the resulting change in leaf transmittance. By using a microplate reader, quantitative measurements of chloroplast accumulation or avoidance can be monitored over time, for multiple samples with relatively little hands-on time.

Key words

Phototropin Arabidopsis Chloroplast movements Microplate reader 



We would like to thank Jon Hughes for support and funding H.J. (Hu702/5-3), the members of his lab for valuable suggestions on the experimental setup, and Nora Schorn for proofreading the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PhysiologyJustus Liebig UniversityGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Biology/Applied Genetics, Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences (DCPS)Freie Universität BerlinBerlin-DahlemGermany

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