Gunning, Brian E. S. Department of Botany, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Last reviewed:November 2020
- Size and shape
- Mode of development
- Morphogenetic autonomy
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A specialized structure primarily found in plant cells and algae. Cell plastids are diverse in distribution, size, shape, composition, structure, function, and mode of development. Various types of cell plastids are recognized. Chloroplasts occur in the green parts of plants and are responsible for the green coloration, for they contain the chlorophyll pigments. These pigments, along with certain others, absorb the light energy that drives the processes of photosynthesis, by which sugars, starch, and other organic materials are synthesized. Amyloplasts, nearly or entirely colorless, are packed with starch grains and occur in cells of storage tissue. Proteoplasts are less common and contain crystalline, fibrillar, or amorphous masses of protein, sometimes along with starch grains. In chromoplasts, the green pigment is masked or replaced by others, notably carotenoids, as in the cells of carrot roots and many flowers and fruits. See also: Carotenoids; Chlorophyll; Starch
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