The constant proportion of grana and stroma lamellae in plant chloroplasts

Per-Åke Albertsson, E Andreasson

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The relative proportion of stroma lamellae and grana end membranes was determined from electron micrographs of 58 chloroplasts from 21 different plant species. The percentage of grana end membranes varied between 1 and 21% of the total thylakoid membrane indicating a large variation in the size of grana stacks. By contrast the stroma lamellae account for 20.3 +/- 2.5 (SD)% of the total thylakoid membrane. A plot of percentage stroma lamellae against percentage of grana end membranes fits a straight line with a slope of zero showing that the proportion of stroma lamellae is independent of the size of the grana stacks. That stroma lamellae account for about 20% of the thylakoid membrane is in agreement with fragmentation and separation analysis (Gadjieva et al. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 144: 92-100, 1999). Chloroplasts from spinach, grown under high or low light, were fragmented by sonication and separated by countercurrent distribution into two vesicle populations originating from grana and stroma lamellae plus end membranes, respectively. The separation diagrams were very similar lending independent support for the notion that the proportion of stroma lamellae is constant. The results are discussed in relation to the composition and function of the chloroplast in plants grown under different environmental conditions, and in relation to a recent quantitative model for the thylakoid (Albertsson, Trends Plant Sci. 6: 349-354, 2001).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-342
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences


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