Studying Arabidopsis Chloroplast Structural Organisation Using Transmission Electron Microscopy

  • Stefan HymanEmail author
  • R. Paul Jarvis
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 774)


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 



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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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Core Biotechnology Services Electron Microscopy LaboratoryUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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