J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1995, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): -.

• Research Articles •    

Studies on the Conversion of Chloroplast to Chromoplast During Fruit Ripening in Solanum pseudo-capsicum var. diflorum

Zhu Cheng and Fang Zhao-xi   

Abstract: Determination of chlorophyll and carotenoid contents in the ectocarp during fruit ripening in Solanum pseudo-capsicum var. diflorurn (Veil.) Bitter revealed that the changes of fruit colour coincided with the decline of chlorophyll and the increase of carotenoid contents. The conversion of chloroplasts to chromoplasts in the fruit was studied by electron microscopy. The early green fruit was characterized by chloroplasts with a typical grana-intergranal thylakoid structure. At yellow-green fruit stage the thylakoid system was disintegrated and replaced by few non-chlorophyllous single thylakoids, with accumulation of large osmiophilic plastoglobules. The plastids developed as the so-called proplastids. These indicated dedifferentiation of chloroplasts in a ripening fruit. When the fruit reached its yellow stage, numerous large plastoglobules contained in the young chromoplasts frequently showed transitional changes to plastid tubule structure. At first, the center of plastoglobules became semi-translucent. It was believed that the young chromoplast were in an initial state of carotenoid deposition, followed by plastoglobules elongation and tubule protrution from the globules. These tubules were surrounded with an electron dense membranous sheath leaving the core semi-translucent. Concurrently a series of vesicles in different developmental stages appeared from the stroma of the plastid, likely representing a process of formation of numerous small new plastoglobules. In the chromoplasts of a ripe orange-or orange red-colored fruit only numerous tubules and small plastoglobules were present. The plastid tubules increased in number and elongated in length filling the mature chromoplast. Numerous small plastoglobules also increased and distributed in the spaces between tubules. These results indicated that the reconstruction of a mature chromoplast from a dedifferentiated plastid was really a form of redifferentiation, and it might be concluded that the conversion of chloroplast to chromoplast in the fruit of S. pseudo-capsicum var. diflorum, in fact, was a processes of dedifferentiation and redifferentiation.

Key words: Chromoplast: Chloroplast, Carotenoid, Solanurn pseudo-capsicum var. diflorurn

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