Structural and functional stability of isolated intact chloroplasts

Magdolna Droppa, Gábor Horváth, László A. Mustárdy, Sándor Demeter, Ágnes Faludi-Dániel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of in vitro ageing on the ultrastructure, electron transport, thermoluminescence and flash-induced 515 nm absorbance change of isolated intact (type A) chloroplasts compared with non-intact (types B and C) chloroplasts was studied. When stored in the dark for 18 h at 5°C, the structural characteristics of intact and non-intact chloroplasts were only slightly altered. The most conspicuous difference between the two was in the coupling of the electron transport which was tighter and more stable in intact chloroplasts. Under dark-storage the activity of PS 2* decreased and the -20°C peak of thermoluminescence increased at the expense of the emission at +25°C. These changes were less pronounced in the intact chloroplasts. PS 1 activity and the flash-induced 515 nm absorbance change were not affected by dark-storage. When kept in the light (80 W m-2 (400-700 nm) for 1 h at 5°C), the thylakoid system of chloroplasts rapidly became disorganized. Although the initial activity of electron transport was much higher in intact chloroplasts, after a short period of light-storage the linear electron transport and the electron transport around PS 2 decreased in both types of preparations to the same low level. These changes were accompanied by an overall decrease of the intensity of thermoluminescence. PS 1 was not inhibited by light-storage, while the flash-induced 515 nm absorbance change was virtually abolished both in preparations of intact and non-intact chloroplasts. The data show that in stored chloroplast preparations intactness cannot be estimated reliably either by the FeCy test or by inspection under the electron microscope. These tests should be cross-checked on the level and coupling of the electron transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1981


  • electron transport
  • energization
  • in vitro ageing
  • intact chloroplasts
  • thermoluminescence
  • ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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