• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jcellbiolHomeThe Rockefeller University PressEditorsContactInstructions for AuthorsThis issue
J Cell Biol. Jul 1, 1979; 82(1): 299–305.
PMCID: PMC2110427

Use of the fluorochrome 4'6-diamidino-2-phenylindole in genetic and developmental studies of chloroplast DNA


Use of the DNA-specific fluorochrome 4'6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) makes it possible to examine in situ the structure of chloroplast DNA (chDNA) with the fluorescence microscope. This simplifies the study of genetic and developmental changes in chloroplast DNA. Three examples are presented. (a) Wild-type Euglena gracilis B contains several chloroplast DNA nucleoids per chloroplast. A yellow mutant lacking functional chloroplasts is similar, but such nucleoids are absent in an aplastidic mutant strain known from biochemical studies to have lost its chDNA. (b) In vegetative cells of the giant-celled marine algae Acetabularia and Batophora, only about a quarter of the chloroplasts have even one discernible chloroplast DNA particle, and such particles vary in size, showing a 30-fold variation in the amount of DNA-bound DAPI fluorescence detected per chloroplast. By contrast, 98% of chloroplasts in developing Acetabularia cysts contain chDNA, with as many as nine nucleoids per chloroplast. (c) DAPI- stained chloroplasts of chromophyte algae display the peripheral ring of DNA expected from electron microscope studies. However, these rings are not uniform in thickness, but are necklace-like, with the appearance of beads on a string. Since the multiple nucleoids in plastids of chlorophyte algae also appear to be interconnected throughout the chloroplast, a common structural plan may underlie chDNA morphology in both groups of algae.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (632K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bisalputra T, Bisalputra AA. The ultrastructure of chloroplast of a brown alga Sphacelaria sp. I. Plastid DNA configuration--the chloroplast genophore. J Ultrastruct Res. 1969 Oct;29(1):151–170. [PubMed]
  • Coleman AW. Visualization of chloroplast DNA with two fluorochromes. Exp Cell Res. 1978 Jun;114(1):95–100. [PubMed]
  • Gibbs SP, Cheng D, Slankis T. The chloroplast nucleoid in Ochromonas danica. I. Three-dimensional morphology in light- and dark-grown cells. J Cell Sci. 1974 Dec;16(3):557–577. [PubMed]
  • James TW, Jope C. Visualization by fluorescence of chloroplast DNA in higher plants by means of the DNA-specific probe 4'6-diamidino-2-phenylindole. J Cell Biol. 1978 Dec;79(3):623–630. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Latt SA. Microfluorometric detection of deoxyribonucleic acid replication in human metaphase chromosomes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 Dec;70(12):3395–3399. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lin MS, Comings DE, Alfi OS. Optical Studies of the interaction of 4'-6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole with DNA and metaphase chromosomes. Chromosoma. 1977 Mar 7;60(1):15–25. [PubMed]
  • Schnedl W, Mikelsaar AV, Breitenbach M, Dann O. DIPI and DAPI: fluorescence banding with only negliglible fading. Hum Genet. 1977 Apr 15;36(2):167–172. [PubMed]
  • Stern AI, Schiff JA, Epstein HT. Studies of Chloroplast Development in Euglena. V. Pigment Biosynthesis, Photosynthetic Oxygen Evolution and Carbon Dioxide Fixation during Chloroplast Development. Plant Physiol. 1964 Mar;39(2):220–226. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Woodcock CL, Bogorad L. Evidence for variation in the quantity of DNA among plastids of Acetabularia. J Cell Biol. 1970 Feb;44(2):361–375. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of Cell Biology are provided here courtesy of The Rockefeller University Press


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...