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Cellular Basics

Plant Cell Basics

What are plastids?

Plastids are only found in plant and algae cells and are involved in cellular storage. Depending on their location in a plant and how much light they receive, proplastids develop into one of several kinds of plastids with different functions: Chloroplasts as the site of photosynthesis; leucoplasts store starches (for example, in tubers like potatoes); amyloplasts store starches; proteinoplasts store proteins; and elaioplasts store lipids. In addition, some proplastids develop into chromoplasts that store the pigments that give some flowers, fruits, and other plants—such as carrots and tomatoes—their red, orange, and/or yellow colors. Interestingly enough, it does not include the color green. (For more about plants, see the chapter “Plant Diversity and Structure.”)



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