The chloroplast is the site of photosynthesis that enabled and sustains aerobic life on Earth. Chloroplasts are relatively large organelles with a diameter of ~5 μm and width of ~2.5 μm, and so can be readily analysed by electron microscopy. Each chloroplast is enclosed by two envelope membranes, which encompass an aqueous matrix, the stroma and the thylakoids. Components of stroma include starch granules and plastoglobuli, which can be observed by electron microscopy. And the thylakoids consist of stromal thylakoid, granal thylakoid and as well as granum (a stack of thylakoids). These structure components are quite sensitive to developmental changes and environmental variations, such as drought, salinity, cold, high temperature and others. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a powerful technique for monitoring the effects of various changing parameters or treatments on the development and differentiation of these important organelles. Here we describe a reliable method for the analysis of plastid ultrastructure in tobacco plant by TEM.
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