Chromoplasts meaning

What are Chromoplasts:

Chromoplasts are plastids or mature plastids of the plant cell that store secondary photosynthetic pigments and nutritional reserves.

Chromoplasts are characterized by containing the pigments that give the flowers and fruits of plants the yellow, orange, red or violet colors, whose function is the application of a resource to attract animals and insects to disperse their seeds.

Chromoplasts have no definite shape, internal organization, or structure. In terms of shape they can be elongated, lobed or spheroidal. In relation to its internal organization, all its elements, such as ribosomes and pigments, swim freely through the stroma. Finally, its structure is defined only by an inner membrane, an outer membrane, and stromules (tubes filled with stroma).

Chromoplasts originate from any other type of plastid. For example, when chloroplasts lose chlorophyll in the fall, the reddish-orange color of the leaves is due to them turning into chromoplasts.

The pigments that chromoplasts accumulate are of 2 types:

  • Hydrogenated carotenoid pigments (C40H56): such as ß-carotene that gives carrot its orange color and lycopene that gives tomato its red color.
  • Oxygenated carotenoid pigments (C40H55O2): such as xanthophyll that gives corn kernels their yellow color.

See more about: Pigment.

Chromoplasts and chloroplasts

Chromoplasts and chloroplasts are mature plasts or plastids found in plant cells.

Chromoplasts are responsible for the red, yellow and violet pigmentation of flowers and fruits, while chloroplasts are responsible for photosynthesis by containing chlorophyll, which, in turn, gives the green color to the leaves.

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