Biotech Updates

Plastids Do Not Form Interconnected Networks

June 1, 2012

Plastids have been known to have tentacle-like prostrusions called stromules, which appear to connect each other. Based on a previous study conducted in 1997, these stromules transfer molecules within interplastic communication system. Scientists from the University of Guelph, Canada, reexamined this notion.

Martin Schattat and colleagues used a photoconvertible fluorescent protein (mEosFP) to test the transfer of proteins in differentially colored plastids. Transfer of proteins will be confirmed when intermediate colors are generated. The team developed Arabidopsis lines expressing plastid-targeted mEosFP. They observed that the stromules came into contact with each other for up to 50 minutes, but the plastids' colors remained the same. Based on these results, fluorescent proteins are not transferred between plastids.

It is concluded in the report that macromolecules are not exchanged between plastid networks.

Read the abstract at