Studying Arabidopsis Chloroplast Structural Organisation Using Transmission Electron Microscopy
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 wordsArabidopsis thaliana Chloroplast ultrastructure Plastid development TEM Transmission electron microscopy
The authors wish to acknowledge Ms. Natalie Allcock of the Core Biotechnology Services Electron Microscopy Laboratory, University of Leicester, for both technical support and comments on the manuscript.
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