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Planta. 1985 Aug;165(2):197-204. doi: 10.1007/BF00395042.

Plastid changes during the conversion of chloroplasts to chromoplasts in ripening tomatoes.

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Department of Physiology and Environmental Science, University of Nottingham, School of Agriculture, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, Loughborough, UK.


Methods were developed for the isolation of plastids from mature green and ripening tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and purification by sucrose or Percoll density-gradient centrifugation. Assessment of the purity of preparations involved phase-contrast and electron microscopy, assays for marker enzymes and RNA extraction and analysis. Proteins were extracted from isolated plastids at different ripening stages and separated by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The profiles obtained from chloroplasts and chromoplasts showed many qualitative and quantitative differences. Labelling of proteins with [(35)S]methionine in vivo showed that there was active protein synthesis throughout ripening, but there was a change in the plastid proteins made as ripening proceeded. The cellular location of synthesis of specific proteins has yet to be established.


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