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Int Rev Cytol. 1995;163:175-247.

Biochemistry and molecular biology of chromoplast development.

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  • 1Institut de Biologie Mol├ęculaire des Plantes du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Strasbourg, France.


Plant cells contain a unique class of organelles, designated the plastids, which distinguish them from animal cells. According to the largely accepted endosymbiotic theory of evolution, plastids are descendants of prokaryotes. This process requires several adaptative changes which involve the maintenance and the expression of part of the plastid genome, as well as the integration of the plastid activity to the cellular metabolism. This is illustrated by the diversity of plastids encountered in plant cells. For instance, in tissues undergoing color changes, i.e., flowers and fruits, the chromoplasts produce and accumulate excess carotenoids. In this paper we attempt to review the basic aspects of chromoplast development.

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