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Title: Probing the in situ volumes of Arabidopsis leaf plastids using three‐dimensional confocal and scanning electron microscopy

Leaf plastids harbor a plethora of biochemical reactions including photosynthesis, one of the most important metabolic pathways on Earth. Scientists are eager to unveil the physiological processes within the organelle but also their interconnection with the rest of the plant cell. An increasingly important feature of this venture is to use experimental data in the design of metabolic models. A remaining obstacle has been the limited in situ volume information of plastids and other cell organelles. To fill this gap for chloroplasts, we established three microscopy protocols deliveringin situvolumes based on: (i) chlorophyll fluorescence emerging from the thylakoid membrane, (ii) a CFP marker embedded in the envelope, and (iii) calculations from serial block‐face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM). The obtained data were corroborated by comparing wild‐type data with two mutant lines affected in the plastid division machinery known to produce small and large mesophyll chloroplasts, respectively. Furthermore, we also determined the volume of the much smaller guard cell plastids. Interestingly, their volume is not governed by the same components of the division machinery which defines mesophyll plastid size. Based on our three approaches, the average volume of a mature Col‐0 wild‐type mesophyll chloroplasts is 93 μm3. Wild‐type guard cell plastids are approximately 18 μm3. Lastly, our comparative analysis shows that the chlorophyll fluorescence analysis can accurately determine chloroplast volumes, providing an important tool to research groups without access to transgenic marker lines expressing genetically encoded fluorescence proteins or costly SBFSEM equipment.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Plant Journal
Medium: X Size: p. 332-341
["p. 332-341"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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