by Ian Tetlow & Mark Burrell
Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences,
University of Guelph. ON N1G 2W1 Canada.
Chromoplasts are red-, orange-, and yellow-coloured plastids containing relatively high levels of carotenoid pigments and are commonly found in flowers, fruits, senescing leaves (also termed gerontoplasts) and certain roots. Chromoplasts often develop from chloroplasts, but may also be formed from proplastids and amyloplasts (see below). Carotenoid synthesis and/or storage in chromoplasts occur within plastoglobules, filamentous pigmented bodies, and crystals . Starch is often present early in development and lost as the chromoplasts mature .
Amyloplasts are characterized by the presence of one or more starch granules and are found in roots (where they may be involved in the detection of gravity) and storage tissues such as cotyledons, endosperm, and tubers. Amyloplasts are also capable of redifferentiating into other plastid types, for example in the re-greening of potato tubers where cell layers deep within the tuber undergo chloroplast formation .
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